The 16 Best AI Chatbots for Business in 2022 and Beyond [Review and Key Features]

Written by Dylan Max  on   May 19, 2022

Chatbots are used by 1.4 billion people today. Companies are launching their best AI chatbots to carry on 1:1 conversations with customers and employees. AI powered chatbots are also capable of automating various tasks, including sales and marketing, customer service, and administrative and operational tasks.

As the demand for chatbot software has skyrocketed, the marketplace of companies that provide chatbot technology has become harder to navigate as competition increases with many companies promising to do the same thing. However, not all AI chatbots are the same. To help companies of all sizes find the best of the best, we’ve rounded up the best 16 AI chatbots for specific business use cases. We’ll also cover the 5 best chatbot examples in the real world, but more on that later.

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about AI chatbot solutions, including:

Before we jump into the 16 best AI chatbots, it’s important to differentiate between AI chatbots and rules-based bots. The first-generation bots that many companies adopted were very rigid and provided poor user experiences. Rules-based chatbots are limited to very basic scenarios.

What is an AI chatbot?

AI-powered chatbots provide a more human-like experience, are capable of carrying on natural conversation, and continuously improve over time. While basic chatbot technology moves the conversation forward via bot-prompted keywords or UX features like Facebook Messenger’s suggested responses, AI-powered chatbots use natural language processing and leverage semantics to understand the context of what a person is saying.

The most powerful AI chatbots have the most sophisticated artificial intelligence software built. So what does a powerful customer service chatbot look like? Here’s an example of what a powerful AI chatbot might look like if you could see it.

Though you won’t see a purple glowing orb literally tracking and shooting down tickets, smart backend software can solve hundreds of tickets or tasks per second. On the other hand, agents who work with low-quality AI chatbots (or none at all) might be stuck doing the manual work like this:

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best AI chatbots for 2022 and beyond.

Best AI Chatbots for 2022

RankAI ChatbotRating (Out of 5 Stars)
1.Netomi5
2.atSpoke4.8
3.WP-Chatbot4.7
4.Microsoft Bot Framework4.6
5.Zendesk Answer Bot4.6
6.x.ai4.5
7.CSML.dev4.5
8.Alexa for Business4.4
9.Drift4.4
10.Salesforce Einstein4.4
11.Dasha AI4.3
12.SurveySparrow4.25
13.LivePerson4.2
14.ManyChat4.15
15.Intercom4.1
16.Replika4.1

1. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Service: Netomi

What makes Netomi one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Netomi’s AI platform helps companies automatically resolve customer service tickets on email, chat, messaging and voice. It has the highest accuracy of any customer service chatbot due to its advanced Natural Language Understanding (NLU) engine. It can automatically resolve over 70% of customer queries without human intervention and focuses holistically on AI customer experience. Netomi is incredibly easy to adopt and has out-of-the-box integrations with all of the leading agent desk platforms. The company works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including WestJet, Brex, Zinus, Singtel, Circles Life, WB Games and HP.

Key features

  • Natural Language Understanding for human-like conversation
  • Reinforcement learning and ongoing optimization
  • Sentiment analysis for contextual next best action
  • Back-end systems integrations (CRM, OMS, etc.) for meaningful and personalized resolutions
  • Human escalation via agent desk integration (Zendesk, Freshworks, Salesforce, Khoros, Zoho, Sprinklr, Shopify)
  • Knowledge-base integration
  • Omni-channel (email, chat, voice, social)
  • Analytics and real-time reporting
  • Multi-lingual
  • Dedicated customer success team

2. Best AI Chatbot for IT, HR and Business Ops: atSpoke

What makes atSpoke one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

atSpoke makes it easy for employees to get the knowledge they need. It’s an internal ticketing system that has built-in helpdesk AI. It allows internal teams (IT help desk, HR and other business operations teams) to enjoy 5x faster resolutions by immediately answering 40% of requests automatically. The AI responds to a range of employee questions by surfacing knowledge base content.  Employees can get updates directly within the channels they are using every day, including Slack, Google Drive, Confluence and Microsoft Teams.

Key features 

  • Multi-channel (chat, email, and SMS customer service)
  • Alerts / Escalation
  • Automated Routing
  • Knowledge Base Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Workflow Configuration

3. Best AI Chatbot for WordPress: WP-Chatbot

What makes WP-Chatbot one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

WP-Chatbot is the most popular chatbot in the WordPress ecosystem, giving tens of thousands of websites live chat and Web chat capabilities. WP-Chatbot integrates with a Facebook Business page and powers live and automated interactions on a WordPress site via a native Messenger chat widget. There’s an easy one-click installation process. It is one of the fastest ways to add live chat to a WordPress site. Users have a single inbox for all messages – whether taking place on Messenger or on webchat – which provides a really efficient way to manage cross-platform customer interactions.

Key features:

  • One-click-install for WordPress
  • Customization
  • Custom greeting
  • Facebook page branding
  • Single inbox for all incoming messages
  • Integration with your Facebook Business Page
  • Compatible with all versions of WordPress

4. Best Open Source AI Chatbot: Microsoft Bot Framework

What makes Microsoft Bot Framework one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

The Microsoft Bot Framework is a comprehensive framework for building conversational AI experiences. The Bot Framework Composer is an open-source, visual authoring canvas for developers and multi-disciplinary teams to design and build conversational experiences with Language Understanding, QnA Maker and bot replies. The Microsoft Bot Framework allows users to use a comprehensive open-source SDK and tools to easily connect a bot to popular channels and devices.

Key features:

  • AI and natural language
  • Open source SDK and tools to build, test, and connect bots to popular channels and devices
  • integrate with existing IT ecosystem
  • Omnichannel experience (website or apps, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Cortana, and Facebook Messenger)
  • Speech capabilities

5. Best Agent Desk AI Chatbot: Zendesk Answer Bot

What makes Zendesk Answer Bot one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Zendesk Answer Bot works alongside your support team within Zendesk to answer incoming customer questions right away. The Answer Bot pulls relevant articles from your Zendesk Knowledge Base to provide customers with the information they need without delay. You can deploy additional technology on top of your Zendesk chatbot or you can let the Zendesk Answer Bot fly solo on your website chat, within mobile apps, or for internal teams on Slack.

Key features:

  • Multilingual
  • Multi-channel (email, Web forms, chat, in-app)
  • Integrates with Zendesk Guide knowledge base
  • Integrates within Zendesk agent desk platform for seamless human hand-off
  • Deep learning

Interested in learning more about Zendesk for customer service? Check out any of these helpful blog posts from our team:


Looking for an AI platform that works beautifully with Zendesk? Let us show you how it works.


6. Best AI Chatbot To Be Your Personal Assistant: x.ai

What makes x.ai one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Are you looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce time doing administrative tasks? x.ai is the best personal assistant chatbot that can schedule meetings and follow up to confirm times with attendees. Once you have an account, it’s as simple as CC x.ai on an email. It connects to your calendar and will coordinate with guests to find a time that works.

Key features: 

  • Meeting Scheduler
  • Meeting Tracker
  • Auto-Responder
  • Google Calendar Integration
  • Outlook.com Calendar Integration
  • Office 365 Calendar Integration
  • User Access Control
  • Analytics & Reporting

7. Best AI Chatbot for Developers: CSML.dev

What makes CSML one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

CSML is the first open-source programming language and chatbot engine dedicated to developing powerful and interoperable chatbots. CSML helps developers build and deploy chatbots easily with its expressive syntax and its capacity to connect to any third party API. Used by thousands of chatbot developers, CSML Studio is the simplest way to get started with CSML, with everything included to start building chatbots directly inside your browser. A free playground is also available to let developers experiment with the language without signing up.

Key features: 

  • Super easy syntax and conversation-oriented components
  • Short and long-term memory slots
  • Integrates out of the box with over 70 other apps (CRM, ticketing, databases, livechat, and more)
  • Chatbot activity analytics
  • Ready-to-use chatbot templates library

8. Best AI Chatbot for Voice: Alexa for Business

What makes Alexa for Business one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Do you want to interact with the 83.1 million people who own a smart speaker? Amazon, which has captured 70% of this market, has the best AI chatbot software for voice assistants. With Alexa for Business, IT teams can create custom skills that can answer customer questions. The creation of custom skills is a trend that has exploded: Amazon grew from 130 skills to over 100,000 skills as of September 2019 in just over three years. Creating custom skills on Alexa allows your customers to ask questions, order or re-order products or services, or engage with other content spontaneously by simply speaking out loud. With Alexa for Business, teams can integrate with Salesforce, ServiceNow, or any other custom apps and services.

Key features: 

  • Self-service APIs to help you create, manage, test and publish custom skills
  • Request APIs receive intents and directives from Alexa in your application logic
  • Respond to customers using text-to-speech, images, and streamed audio and video
  • Transactions and closed-loop commerce
  • SDKs for Node.js, Python and Java

9. Best AI Chatbot for Sales: Drift

What makes Drift one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Drift B2B chatbots are implemented on websites to qualify leads without forms. Drift chatbots ask qualification questions and create leads in your CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo). Once a lead is qualified, the chatbot can automatically book meetings for sales teams by connecting to calendars to pull availability. Drift also allows companies to identify the highest-valued and intelligently send personalized welcome messages to VIPs. If other questions arise during the conversation, Drift can integrate with some of the best knowledge base tools like Zendesk, Help Scout, HelpDocs and others to surface relevant information.  

Key features:

  • A chat widget for mobile and desktop
  • Routing that directs leads and conversations to the correct person, group or team
  • SDKs for JavaScript Web, Android mobile, and iOS mobile and web
  • an API for building apps, customizing the chat widget or integrating with your platform
  • Out-of-the-box integrations, including: Slack, Office 365 Calendar, Salesforce and Market

10. Best AI Chatbot for Salesforce Fanatics: Salesforce Einstein

What makes Salesforce Einstein one of the best chatbots of 2022?

Salesforce Einstein is an AI chatbot designed by one of the most successful companies ever to come out of Silicon Valley. Salesforce is first and foremost a CRM company, in fact, its stock symbol is CRM.

Much of Salesforce’s success comes from the abundant software integrations that are either made by Salesforce themselves or by third-party companies. For example, Netomi has created a really powerful Salesforce chatbot, which integrates seamlessly into Salesforce’s platform. To have Einstein Bot at your fingertips, you need to buy into the overall Salesforce system and then pay $50/month as an add-on to Salesforce Service Cloud (which we also recognized as one of the 11 best help desk software options of the year).

Key features:

  • Powerful Conversational AI
  • Capable of triage and routing to human agents when necessary
  • Seamless integration with other SalesForce products
  • Requires Salesforce Service Cloud

11. Best AI Chatbot for Call Centers: Dasha AI

What makes Dasha AI one of the best chatbots of 2022?

Dasha is a conversational AI as a service platform. It provides developers with tools to create human-like, deeply conversational AI applications. The apps can be used for call center agent replacement, text chat or to add conversational voice interfaces to mobile apps or IOT devices. Dasha was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Conversational AI 2020.

No knowledge of AI or ML is required to build with Dasha, any developer with basic JavaScript knowledge will feel right at home.

Key features:

  • Human-indistinguishable speech synthesis
  • Unlimited conversational depth
  • You own the Intellectual Property to all Dasha apps you build
  • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly
  • Voice over GRPC means that you can add live AI conversations to your websites or mobile apps
  • Robust digressions and intents, stacked named entities
  • Ultra-high conversational concurrency
  • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly

12. Best AI Chatbot for User or Market Research: SurveySparrow

What makes SurveySparrow one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

SurveySparrow is a software platform for conversational surveys and forms. The platform bundles customer satisfaction surveys (i.e., Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) or Customer Effort Score (CES) and Employee Experience surveys  (i.e., Recruitment & Pre-hire, Employee 360 Assessment, Employee Check-in and Employee Exit Interviews) tools. The conversational UI deploys surveys in a chat-like experience. This approach increases survey completion rates by 40%. SurveySparrow comes with a range of out-of-the-box question types and templates. Surveys are embedded on websites or other software tools through integrations with Zapier, Slack, Intercom and Mailchimp.

Key features: 

  • Customized conversational surveys
  • Subaccounts and multiple users
  • Multi-language surveys
  • Smart surveys using conditional logic branching
  • White label surveys
  • Visual workflows
  • Omni-channel (email, social media, web links, embedded options, scannable QR code and email)
  • Reports and analytics

13. Best AI Chatbot for the Conversational Cloud: LivePerson

What makes LivePerson one of the best chatbots of 2022?

LivePerson offers AI-powered conversations which connect brands to consumers through multiple messaging channels. LivePerson works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including The Home Depot, IBM, and Vodafone. According to LivePerson’s website, its conversational AI software mostly addresses marketing and sales, followed by customer care to a lesser extent.

Key features:

  • Integrates with most channels aside from email
  • Ability to pull time-based reports
  • Intuitive interface
  • Real-time analytics dashboard
  • Enterprise-focused pricing

14. Best Build-Your-Own AI Chatbot for Messenger: ManyChat

What makes ManyChat one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

Next year, 2.4B people will use Facebook Messenger. ManyChat is a great option if you’re looking for a quick way to launch a simple chatbot to sell products, book appointments, send order updates or share coupons on Facebook Messenger. It has industry-specific templates, or you can build your own with a drag-and-drop interface, which allows you to launch a bot within minutes without coding. You can easily connect to eCommerce tools, including Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, ActiveCampaign, Google Sheets, and 1,500+ additional apps through Zapier and Integromat. 

Key features:

  • Basic reporting and analytics
  • Drag-and-drop interface to build bot
  • Integrations with Shopify, Google Sheets, MailChimp, HubSpot, ConvertKit, and Zapier
  • No coding required
  • Easy set up in minutes

How are our customers building chatbots to rethink customer service?
Learn how Nespresso, Tommy Hilfiger, and Westjet have turned support into a difference maker.


15. Best AI Chatbot for Marketers: Intercom

What makes Intercom one of the best chatbots of 2022?

Intercom exploded onto the market in 2011, making it one of the first chatbots on the market. Intercom is traditionally known as an easy to use rules-based bot for business (with minimal AI). However, it has only been until recently that Intercom has released an AI chatbot. With that said, there are some strong cases to pick Intercom as a top performing software in the space including an extensive list of software integrations.

Key features:

  • Intercom’s Business Messenger offers engaging customer support
  • Powerful integration set with over 250 out-of-the-box apps
  • Uses both business and customer data to personalize experiences
  • Seamless experience between desktop and mobile
  • Machine learning models can help answer up to 33% of inquiries automatically
  • No free tier with expensive higher tiers compared to other options

16. Best AI Companion and Friend Chatbot: Replika

What makes Replika one of the best AI chatbots of 2022?

While this is not a business use case, it still warrants placement on this list for its coolness. Replika is an AI chatbot designed to become a “friend” who offers “no judgment, drama, or social anxiety.” It claims that users can “form an actual emotional connection, share a laugh or get real with an AI that’s so good it almost seems human.” Users can choose their 3D avatar and customize it, help it learn about the world, and develop its personality. You can decide if you want it to be a friend, virtual significant other or mentor.

Key features:

  • Learns to imitate users
  • Messaging and voice recognition
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Customizable avatar

AI Chatbot Frequently Asked Questions

 

How Do AI Chatbots Work?

AI chatbots use Natural Language Processing (NLP) engines and machine learning to interpret user inputs. This involves extracting user entities and determining user intents. These NLP methods are used widely in the technology industry, including for machine translation, sentiment analysis, and user behavior analytics (UBA) in cybersecurity.

What is a Chatbot Platform?

A chatbot platform allows businesses to host multiple AI chatbots all in one place. Chatbot platforms are crucial when companies want to deploy chatbots across multiple communication channels like messenger, SMS, email, and directly on the website. Having all your chatbots organized in one place ensures maximum efficiency and learning opportunities as the AI inevitably gets more sophisticated.

Is Siri a Chatbot?

Siri is considered a basic chatbot. Even though Siri sounds smart at times, Sirilacks the natural language processing and human-like conversational ability of more advanced AI chatbots.

How Can Chatbots Help Save Me Money?

Chatbots can help save you money by automating routine tasks that humans would otherwise complete. Imagine that you owned a business where five different types of questions made up for over 50% of the total questions by volume. Without a chatbot, a customer service agent would have to answer each question one by one. On the other hand, a chatbot could answer an unlimited amount of the same customer service question type in an instant. This allows businesses to save their support agents’ time while maintaining a quality customer experience.

What Makes an AI Chatbot Powerful?

What separates a bad chatbot from the best chatbots is a bot’s ability to leverage four different categories of artificial intelligence. The best AI chatbots are extremely sophisticated in these 4 AI attributes:

  • Intent recognition—intent recognition involves a semantic understanding of text-based and AI chatbots that leverage general syntactical and semantic knowledge which they learn from a large corpus of language data and business-specific training samples. Knowledge learned by AI chatbots from large data sources helps for the expansion and transfer of vocabulary which helps to improve interpretations with fewer business-specific training samples.
  • Extraction of entities—information that relates to a specific object or concept. For example, dates, places, times, descriptions, names, items, or numbers. These bits of data are the building blocks from which inputs are interpreted and defined.
  • Dialogue management—Based on intent and entities, AI Chatbots use the next best action to trigger various actions required to capture appropriate details from users and business systems for meaningful resolution. AI chatbots learn user preferences in their long and short-term memory to take contextually relevant smart actions.
  • Expansion and transfer of vocabulary—algorithms can capture and refine vocabulary, including synonyms to improve interpretations. These refinements are tied to subsets of users to generate more natural responses and be passed to new bots.

The strongest chatbot platforms (listed earlier) allow for easy scalability and low manual effort. Now you know what makes the best AI chatbots so powerful.

The 5 Best AI Chatbot Examples in Real Life

As chatbots get smarter, the adoption rate by big brands and industry leaders grows exponentially. Now that we’ve taken a look at which companies make the best AI chatbot technology and how to define what makes one chatbot better than another, let’s explore real-life examples of companies that put those chatbots to work. Below are five of the most successful chatbot implementations and their results:

1. Best AI Chatbot Overall: WestJet’s Chatbot

Company Background

WestJet, the only 3-peat winner of TripAdvisor’s Best Airline in Canada, has incorporated a chatbot to help serve its millions of monthly website visitors. With its chatbot “Juliet,” users can book travel plans, ask questions and get resolutions to common customer service questions.

Chatbot Results

When WestJet’s bot first got started, it could automatically resolve about 30% of all customer service tickets. In less than two years, that number has jumped to over 87%. Not only is this the highest rate of automated ticket resolution ever recorded – making WestJet’s Juliet the most powerful chatbot in the world –  it also speaks to the sophistication of how true artificial intelligence can learn and get better over time. As a result, the WestJet customer service agents are able to work side-by-side with the AI bot and handle over 5X the normal load of customer support.

Interested in learning more about WestJet’s chatbot, Juliet, check out one of these resources below.

2. Best AI Chatbot for Telecom: Charter Spectrum’s Chatbot

Company Background

Charter Spectrum, a top cable and phone service provider in the U.S. has incorporated a chatbot into its customer service operations. Before launching its bot, Charter’s customer support agents were answering around 200k live chats per month, a large portion of these for common use cases including forgotten passwords or usernames.

Chatbot Results

After bringing the “Ask Spectrum” chatbot into its customer support team, Charter Spectrum was able to handle 83% of chat tickets without human intervention. This significantly lightened their customer service load and resulted in a 300% increase in ROI.


To download a copy of our Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


3. Best AI Chatbot for Ecommerce: Covergirl’s Chatbot

Company Background

Covergirl, a popular makeup brand, has taken a different approach. They are leveraging chatbots to engage with teens by providing product information and disseminating coupons. The Covergirl bot was designed to help the brand address the role that social media influencers play in young customer’s lives. Customers can interact with the bot to get product information and coupons for items.

Chatbot Results

As a result of their ecommerce chabot, Covergirl has seen social media engagement increase by a factor of 14. They have also experienced 91% positive sentiment ratings and a 51% click-through on coupons.


To download a copy of our retail Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


4. Best AI Chatbot for Travel: Amtrak’s Chatbot

Company Background

Amtrak, a nationwide rail provider in the United States, launched a travel chatbot to provide support to its 375k daily website visitors. With the Amtrak chatbot, users can book travel, ask common questions, and seek assistance modeled on the company’s best customer service representatives.

Chatbot Results

Currently, Amtrak’s bot is responding to around 5 million requests per year. This has led to a 25% increase in bookings and a 30% increase in revenue. Overall this has meant an 800% increase in ROI.


To learn how AI is completely transforming the travel experience, download this eBook.


5. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Experience: Johnson and Johnson’s Chatbot

Company Background

Johnson and Johnson owns a pregnancy and childcare resource called The BabyCentre UK. The company introduced a bot on Facebook Messenger to provide information and content to new or expecting moms. The bot uses targeting and personalization to deliver relevant information and to answer popular queries from users.

Chatbot Results

As a result of the bot, BabyCentre saw an 84% engagement rate and a 53% click-through rate. This represented a 1,428% increase over email communications despite using the same personalization methods.

Conclusion

The Best AI Chatbots can unlock incredible efficiency, but you need to select the right AI partner. The breadth of AI chatbots available today is incredible. The best business-specific AI chatbots are focused on a core use case – whether it’s customer service, surveys, administrative tasks or sales. With 53% of organizations expecting to use chatbots within 18 months, it’s crucial that teams adopt the right technology that prioritizes the end-user experience, exceeds goals, is easy to adopt and works seamlessly with other business systems. Therefore, as an increasing number of companies claim to have sophisticated AI platforms, not all AI chatbots are created equal.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

Want your AI chatbot solution to be considered for this list? Email info@netomi.com and tell us why! 

The 12 Best Help Desk and Service Desk Software Platforms In 2022 [Features, Pricing, and More]

Written by Dylan Max  on   Apr 4, 2022

The support tech stack has undergone a significant shift since the early 2000s. The backbone of a support organization today is having one of the best help desk software solutions. In today’s business environment, a help desk is a powerful platform that streamlines the entire support process. 

In this post, we’re going to dive deep into these solutions. We’ll explore why companies of all sizes need a help desk, what to look for in a help desk platform, how much it costs and much more, including:

What is a help desk?

A help desk (or service desk) is case management software that helps companies receive, assign, resolve and analyze customer service tickets or queries from internal audiences (IT or HR). As a kind of mission control system, help desk software pulls in conversations from various communication channels, including: incident management, ticket management, customer interaction, live chat, email, social platforms, voice, etc. into a single platform.

Help desk software has a wide range of tools for agents to quickly and accurately access profile data, capture context, analyze sentiment, and provide shortcuts and templates to help customer service reps reply easily.

Help desk platforms often combine customer self service tools like Knowledge Bases as well as AI and human agents working together in real-time to provide efficient support.

Why should companies use a help desk?

Help desk solutions and ticketing systems are instrumental in providing top-notch support and can directly impact customer satisfaction. Help desk software also helps to maintain agent happiness by empowering them with everything they need at their fingertips and even automating many processes.

Companies of all sizes can benefit from a help desk system: whether offering support to external customers or internal audiences (i.e. IT or HR support). There are platforms designed for small teams (less than 20 agents), average size teams (~50 agents), and large enterprise and distributed teams (10,000+ agents).

While the benefits of leveraging help desk software are vast, we’ve rounded up the 7 core benefits in 2022.

Top 7 Benefits of Help Desks

<nbsp;></nbsp;>

  • Improved customer satisfaction

Customers today demand quick, effortless resolutions to their issues and hate having to repeat themselves. Help desk software streamlines the support journey, providing the ability for agents to easily review previous interactions, access customer profile data to personalize the interaction and close help desk tickets faster. 

  • A single source of truth

Help desks provide one centralized record of cross-channel support tickets which can be tracked, reviewed and analyzed at any time. This also opens the door for advanced analytics on the issues customers are facing. Help desks can also flag emerging issues that the company can get in front of.

  • Automation

Help desk software has a lot of AI at work behind the scenes. Service desk chatbot tools act as the first line of defense interacting with customers to automatically resolve highly repeatable tickets. They can recommend responses to agents or even coach agents in real-time. The most advanced help desk platforms use a combination of human and machine intelligence.

  • Improved agent experience

Attrition for customer support agents is one of the highest (with turnover rates between 30-40%), which leads to significant hiring, training and onboarding costs. Tools like help desk AI platforms make an agent’s job easier. Automation tools that eliminate the mundane work and make jobs more fulfilling.

  • Intelligent routing

Help desk platforms can route tickets to specific agents based on availability, expertise or seniority. Routing can also be based on profile attributes. This provides a better end-user experience by reducing the passing off of a customer from one agent to another. 

  • Heightened scalability

When you’re up and running on a modern help desk platform, you can easily scale to new channels and manage spikes in tickets during times of hyper-growth. Help desk platforms eliminate teams sharing a single inbox which can lead to delays, duplicate agent work and reduced productivity.

  • Sophisticated analytics

Modern help desk platforms have rich data and reporting so you can track response time, average handle time, first response rate and other key customer service KPIs.

Do small businesses need to use a help desk?

Every company that prioritizes their customer experience should consider a help desk, even small businesses. Even for small teams with 5 agents or less, there are tons of benefits.

Regardless of the size of your company, customer service is important to attract and build customer relationships. Consider these customer service statistics:

  • 95% of consumers cite customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand
  • Customers expect to receive service through any channel and on any device, with 59% of respondents having used multiple channels to get questions answered
  • 66% of US online adults said that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience

Arming your agents with the tools to drive efficiency can ensure no duplicate work is done, tickets are prioritized and addressed in the most pressing order, and customer satisfaction is not compromised.

How much does help desk software cost?

You can find both free and paid subscriptions for most help desk software. Features and the number of agents in the free models are typically limited. Once you’re in a paid model, more agent seats are allotted and advanced tools and functionality are available. There are often plans aimed at small businesses to enterprise users.

Zendesk, for instance, starts at $49 per month per agent and goes up to $215 per month per agent with the most functionality (published costs at the time of publication).

There is a growing number of options when it comes to help desk software – from both established players like Salesforce and Zendesk and newer Zendesk alternatives like Gladly. A quick look on GetApp, an online review platform for software, shows over 70 companies in the category. Here’s our list of the best help desk software in 2022.

The 12 best help desk platforms

 

RankHelp DeskRating (Out of 5 Stars)
1.Zendesk5
2.Salesforce Service Cloud5
3.Gladly5
4.Freshdesk4.7
5.Zoho4.6
6.Hiver4.5
7.InvGate Service Desk4.5
8.Sprinklr4.4
9.PeopleSoft Enterprise Helpdesk4.4
10.ServiceNow4.4
11.Hubspot Service Hub4.3
12.Happyfox4.3
  • Best help desk software for omnichannel: Zendesk

 

What makes Zendesk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Zendesk is perhaps the most robust and flexible help desk platform. It’s used by over 160,000 companies including large enterprises like Expedia, Tesco and Vodafone. While it works on any channel (email, chat, voice, and even social messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and more), all the interactions and relevant context are kept in a single, dynamic dashboard. Integrating a top-performing Zendesk chatbot can make your help desk even more powerful. The platform is completely customizable and is designed to help companies quickly close tickets. The company reports that it increases customer satisfaction by 25% and agent productivity by 30% at any scale.

Real Testimonials: What customers have to say about Zendesk’s help desk

“Zеndеsk hеlрs yоu іmрrоvе yоur соmmunісatіоns еvеrywhеrе and еvеry mоmеnt.”

Key features

    • Sophisticated ticketing system and automated routing
    • Omnichannel experience and support – including real-time chat and email
    • Advanced reporting & analytics
    • Knowledge Base
    • Automation and service desk chatbot options
    • Ticket collaboration
    • SLA Management
    • Alerts / Escalation

Hear how AI can improve the customer experience in this webinar featuring Greg Dreyfus from Zendesk.


 

What makes Salesforce Service Cloud one of the best help desks of 2022?

Salesforce is the leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by businesses to manage customer data, connect across a variety of channels and streamline customer support. The company’s Service Cloud automates service processes, streamlines workflows, and surfaces key articles to elevate agent productivity.

The platform boasts many of the same features as the other help desk platforms on this list, but also has thousands of apps and integrations in the Salesforce AppExchange that extend the power of Salesforce. Whether you’re looking for customized surveys, AI-powered Salesforce chatbots, agent routing and productivity.

“Service Cloud – the platform for success and customer centricity”

Key features

    • Ticketing and automatic routing
    • Reporting and analytics dashboard
    • SLA management and routing
    • Knowledge base management
    • CRM
    • Automation
    • Omnichannel: voice, email, live chat, social media
  • Best help desk for hyper-personalization: Gladly

 

What makes Gladly one of the best help desks of 2022?

Gladly talks about its “radically personal service.” The help desk is designed to provide the ultimate customer experience that “treats customers like people, not tickets.” The platform provides this personalized customer service by enabling a single lifelong customer conversation across all channels. The customer’s context is carried forward, regardless of the channel on which they reach out. This customer-centric mindset  turns customer service teams into revenue-generating machines by providing agents with tools that can increase contact center generated revenue by up to 10%.

Although the platform is used by companies across industries, Gladly has a ton of experience with retailers like Crate & Barrel, Ugg, Warby Parker, Ulta Beauty and Ralph Lauren.

Drew Chamberlain, Director of Customer Experience for JOANN recounts that “’In less than a month we’d cut our email backlog by 93% and our email response times by 70%—it’s all thanks to how simple and efficient Gladly is to use.”

Key features

    • Customer profiles with saved preferences, purchase history, attributes and relationships
    • Conversation timeline
    • Intelligent routing
    • Native knowledge base
    • Contextual engagement
    • Intelligent routing and seamless escalation
    • Task management and collaboration tools
    • Payments
    • Omnichannel – native voice, email, text, chat, and more tools

Hear how support teams benefit from smart automation in this webinar featuring Mike McCarron from Gladly.


  • Best help desk software for small businesses: Freshdesk

 

What makes Freshdesk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Freshdesk converts requests coming in via email, web, phone, chat, and social into tickets, and unifies ticket resolution across channels. Additionally, Freshdesk lets you automate workflows, provide self-service, manage SLAs, and measure metrics, so you can stay on top of all things customer support. Highly repeatable questions can be replied to in a single keystroke with templated responses. Integrating a Freshdesk chatbot into the help desk might allow you to unlock 80% or higher automation rates.

While the company has over 150,000 customers of all sizes, it is the gold standard for help desk offerings aimed at smaller businesses, according to PC Magazine.

Key features

    • Ticket creation
    • Automation
    • SLA Management
    • Multilingual
    • Reporting and analytics
    • Multi-channel

Get 5 strategies for successful customer service automation in this webinar featuring Rajiv Ramanan from Freshworks.


  • Best help desk software for the value: Zoho

 

What makes Zoho one of the best help desks of 2022?

“In its own words, Zoho Desk is a “straightforward help desk for a great price.”

The Zoho cloud-based platform has an incredible list of features like automatic localization and automated ticket routing, and supports many of the top channels. The best part?  It’s very competitive in pricing with a free tier and paid plans starting at $12/agent for a month. To provide additional value to agents, many companies like Megabus deploy a Zoho chatbot.

Key features

    • Multi-channel, including email, social, chat and telephony
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Auto-tagging of tickets
    • Knowledge base management
    • Ticket assignment and routing
    • Immediate escalations and alerts
    • SLA management
    • Multi-brand help center
  • Best help desk software for teams that use Google Workspaces: Hiver

 

What makes Hiver one of the best help desks of 2022?

As the world’s first Gmail-based helpdesk, Hiver is the best fit for all types of business verticals, as it is extremely easy to adapt. With Hiver, support agents are able to collaborate and act on support queries, automate workflows, and track support metrics – all within Gmail. This means that it is not necessary for support reps to switch tabs while working on a customer query – ensuring timely resolution and an excellent customer experience.

Key features

    • Works within Gmail
    • Quick, seamless internal collaboration through Email notes (without using CCs and forwards)
    • Automation of specific workflows and repetitive tasks
    • Advanced analytics to track key support metrics such as first response time and average resolution time

 

What makes InvGate Service Desk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Enterprise Service Management is the extension of IT Service Management (ITSM) principles and capabilities to other areas of an organization, such as Human Resources, facilities, finance, legal, sales and marketing. InvGate Service Desk is a help desk software commonly used by IT and other areas of large and medium organizations, with a clear ticket management interface, smart workflows, and knowledge base capabilities. It can also be integrated with InvGate’s Asset Management software.

Key features

    • Ticket Management
    • Knowledge Base
    • Workflows and automation
    • Self-service portal
    • SLAs
    • Ticket collaboration
    • IT Asset Management integrations
  • Best help desk software for social media support: Sprinklr

 

What makes Sprinklr one of the best help desks of 2022?

Social media has emerged as a core support channel in recent years. The Sprinklr platform is a robust social media experience platform, Unified CXM, that spans marketing, ads, engagement and care. Sprinklr scales across 35+ digital channels.

With consumers increasingly turning to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others for support, a big part of today’s social media management is customer service. Sprinklr’s Modern Care product is a unified agent desk that includes features like guided workflows, 360-degree customer profiling and CSAT prediction. The company’s AI identifies customer intent and sentiment; automatically creates support cases; and routes them to the right agent with the right information.

If you have a big presence on social media and need a unified place to listen, triage, engage and analyze social conversations, Sprinklr is the perfect choice. Brands that use Sprinklr include hospitality brands Choice Hotels and AAA – many of which pair this platform with a travel chatbot. Cisco is also a known brand using their solutions.

Key features

    • Social Analytics
    • Social Engagement
    • Sentiment Analysis
    • Ticketing
    • Influencer Identification
    • CSAT Prediction
    • AI Routing
    • Conversational AI
    • Quality Alerts

 

What makes PeopleSoft one of the best help desks of 2022?

Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise HelpDesk leverages real-time enterprise data to provide faster, more accurate internal support, maximize employee productivity, monitor service performance, and control service costs. The platform allows agents to view a 360-degree view of the employee to provide the most accurate solution.

Tickets are routed to the agent with the best knowledge of a subject. This product also offers productivity tools like quick codes that populate the category, specialty type, and details fields of a ticket.

Key features

    • Skills-based routing
    • Central repository of diagnostic tools
    • Shortcut data entry
    • Self-service tools
  • Best help desk software for internal IT support (ITSM): ServiceNow

 

What makes ServiceNow one of the best help desks of 2022?

ServiceNow is a platform-as-a-service provider of IT service applications. The company provides a range of pre-built ITSM products to automate and manage numerous IT enterprise services. Using the single software you can automate processes and create custom applications to meet all your IT service needs.

Key features

    • Drag & Drop
    • Compliance management
    • Data visualization
    • Workflow management
    • Alerts / escalations
    • Data mapping and visualization
    • Configurable Workflows

 

What makes Hubspot Service Hub one of the best help desks of 2022?

If you use the Hubspot CRM, the Service Hub is a great solution. While it does offer paid plans, the free plan has unlimited users and significantly more features than other free plans. With the Service Hub, customer service data and channels are brought together into a single platform.

Key features include

    • Comprehensive Ticketing
    • Live chat
    • Conversations inbox to offer transparency for the entire team
    • Detailed reports on closed tickets, agent productivity, and time-to-close
    • Email templates
    • integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, and other programs, including mobile apps
    • Snippets – or reusable answers to most commonly asked questions
  • Best practical help desk: Happyfox

 

What makes Happyfox one of the best help desks of 2022?

Easy to use and “practical,” HappyFox provides multi-channel support for customer requests coming from email, web, phone and social media. Although it lacks some integration capabilities as the other platforms, HappyFox integrates with business applications for accounting, customer feedback, CRM and commerce.

Key features

  • Ticket creation and automated routing
  • Alerts and escalation
  • Knowledge base management
  • Automation
  • Ticket collaboration
  • SLA management
  • Multilingual

Service Desk Chatbot Integration with AI: A must-have feature for any help desk platform

Getting set up on a help desk platform is essential for any modern day support team. Integrating with an AI-powered service desk chatbot can extend the power of the platforms, and help to further improve the customer experience, boost agent productivity and reduce costs.

Netomi, for instance, has out-of-the-box integrations with Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gladly, Salesforce, Zoho and Sprinklr, amongst others. Netomi brings its powerful AI chatbots natively into the agent experience. With these integrations, Netomi’s AI service desk chatbot works alongside human agents seamlessly and can benefit a customer service team in many ways:

  • Automatically resolving mundane, repetitive tickets enabling human agents to focus on higher-level tasks
  • Triaging tickets by gathering information from customers and back-end systems before escalating to human agents
  • Drafting responses for an agent to quickly approve, edit or reject
  • Scaling support across every digital channel –  email, chat, messaging, social, as well as SMS customer service – without increasing headcount
  • Service desk chatbot tools can provide 24/7/365 coverage
  • Reducing customer service costs by optimizing human agent resources
  • Increasing customer satisfaction by reducing resolution time

Customer service becomes a competitive differentiator

When support teams have the right technology and service desk chatbot behind them, agents are able to work better and faster, and meet the demands of today’s modern consumer. Increasingly, companies are competing on customer service, as much as price and product.

Without top-of-the-line help desk software, and layering powerful customer service tools like AI service desk chatbot tools to elevate the experience, it’s hard for support teams to measure up to the experience of customer-centric organizations that prioritize the customer experience and invest in the proper tools.

Want to learn more about how AI and the right service desk chatbot can transform customer service operations? Watch our featured on-demand webinar featuring Zendesk.

For more information on customer service, visit:

Considering Scheduling a Chatbot Demo? Here are the Key Questions to Ask

Written by Dylan Max  on   Jan 13, 2022

Not all chatbots are created equal. In this post, we’ll cover a step-by-step chatbot demo guide of what to look for, including the key questions to ask, to make sure that you adopt the best AI for your business.

Before we get into the questions you should ask during your chatbot demo, let’s quickly cover why now is a good time to explore chatbots.

Why look at chatbots at all?

Automating customer service, meeting evolving customer preferences and expectations, 24/7 availability and ‘always on’ support are among the notable features and benefits of AI-powered chatbots. By this year (2022), chatbots could help to cut business costs by more than $8 billion per year, this same research also estimating that average cost savings will be within the range of $0.50-$0.70 per interaction. Are such cost savings statistics relevant for your business? If yes, then you want to get a demo added to your schedule in the not-too-distant future. 

It is great to hear or read about the benefits of chatbots, but before you adopt the technology, it’s critical to understand the differences between chatbot vendors

If you’re evaluating chatbots for the first time, you might not know what questions to ask or what to look for. What are the key features that need to be touched on, and that will make your chatbot a success? How many external resources are needed in order to launch? 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top questions you should ask during all your future chatbot demos.

Questions to Ask In Your Chatbot Demo:

Question #1: Does It Connect to Your Knowledge Base?

Armed with a strong ‘Do it yourself (DIY)’ attitude, many users today like the concept of customer self service, and of helping themselves. We see this with online banking, or with travelers choosing to check their bags via an airport kiosk. To meet the demands of the modern customer, companies over the past several years have created robust Knowledge Bases (also referred to as Help Centers) on Zendesk and other leading customer experience platforms. Such resources contain articles covering recurring topics and questions on products and services.

Yet the joining of the best knowledge base software, used in parallel with AI-based customer service chatbots is the ultimate combination, offering the perfect combination. Why? When interacting with customers, the most advanced chatbots can summarize and provide the most relevant information to a customer, even if it hasn’t been explicitly trained on a certain topic. This is much more advanced than a bot that simply picks up on keywords and provides a link within the chat (here, essentially the bot becomes simply a searchable knowledge base). For the best customer experience, don’t link out to articles from a chatbot, but provide all relevant information within the same interface.

  Follow up questions to ask:

  • How easy is it to integrate with my knowledge base?  
  • Can the bot go beyond just linking out articles in a knowledge base, and actually provide a full resolution within the chat interface? 
  • How quickly can integration with my knowledge base be done? 
  • What internal resources are required for this integration? 
  • Can you use our knowledge base to train an AI chatbot? 

Question #2: How Do You Train The AI?

How will the AI be trained – is it manual or is it done automatically? Netomi’s Clustering Engine, for instance, utilizes unsupervised learning to sift through and cluster your historic tickets, honing in on repeatable scenarios based on semantic affinity that may be automated, that is, phrases belonging to the same semantic category. Common queries, such as ‘ When will I get my money back,’ and ‘I haven’t received my refund yet’ may be grouped together, under the category of ‘refund status.’ Automatically merging these categories together significantly reduces training time and reduces the effort needed to launch an AI that understands the various ways in which a person might pose a question.

In one example, Comcast found that there are 1,700 ways that a person might inquire about the straightforward issue: ‘I want to pay my bill.’ Without using unsupervised learning, an AI might not be able to initially understand that ‘I’d like to settle my account’ carries the exact same meaning, unless it has been explicitly trained to recognize these subtle differences.   

Follow up questions to ask:

  • How much effort is required from the company to train an AI?
  • Can an AI be trained in multiple languages?
  • How much training data is required?

Discover the return on investing in AI for customer service with Netomi’s ROI calculator!

Question #3: How Do I Create Flows?

While some customer queries are simple FAQs, others require more in-depth conversations. In order to deliver the most relevant and personalized experiences, you might need to ask a customer for an order number, email address, or preferences for flight times. In these instances, chatbots will need to have more complex workflows built. So in a demo, getting a sense of how these flows are created, how arduous or simple the process is, and what internal skillsets are needed is important. 

For instance, we at Netomi recently introduced our Visual Response Builder, enabling customer service teams to create user workflows via a simple drag-and-drop interface. Using this tool, teams can easily configure responses, use conditional branching to unlock unique flows based on a customer’s response, and easily escalate chats to a live agent, when needed. 

Follow up questions to ask:

  • In a workflow, what can be configured?
  • What UX tools are available? (buttons, cards, carousels, etc.)
  • How difficult are flows to create, and would one be able to create them on their own?
  • Is access to this tool available out-of-the-box? 
  • Does creating flows require any coding?
  • How am I able to add personalization to flows?

Question #4: How Do I Measure and Analyze Success?

Prior to deploying a chatbot, there needs to be some way of gauging performance. Is it working as intended? How are your customers adapting and responding to this new tool? This is why having analytics in place is key. You need to know what analytics your chatbot provider has available, so you can make sure you can track the KPIs that are most important to your team. 

Netomi’s analytics dashboard, for instance, highlights real-time performance data on key customer service metrics, including AI resolution rate, in-depth topic analysis, and engagement metrics. It also offers the ability to track how well the AI is performing, and how this is changing over time. Are there any new categories of queries that can potentially be automated?

When it comes to analytics, here are some follow up questions to ask:

  • Can I drill down for different date ranges?
  • Can I customize analytics?
  • Can I export data?
  • In what ways can the chatbot be optimized after launch?

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways 

Not every chatbot platform is the same. Before you adopt a chatbot partner, you need to take a strategic approach by figuring out the effort it will take from your team, the steps that are involved, and all tools, analytics and features available, in addition to the user experience it will provide. 

When evaluating a demo, take a hard look at its features, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to get the best live chat software for your site!  

Now that we have covered the basics of what to look out for, is it time to see a chatbot demo in action? Connect with us at Netomi, and we will demonstrate how you can easily build workflows and integrate with your back-end systems, and scale your support across every channel.

References 

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/09/chatbots-expected-to-cut-business-costs-by-8-billion-by-2022.html

Top 51 Customer Service Leaders – Best Customer Experience Influencers

Written by  on   Jan 6, 2022

Customer service leaders come in all shapes and sizes. In the age of the internet, it is difficult to keep tabs on which thought leaders and influencers are the real deal, and which ones are not. This is especially true in the customer service industry. Customer Experience (CX) has catapulted into one of the most important aspects of determining business success.

At Netomi, we deeply care about improving the customer experience. So much so, we built the best chatbot and AI tool to help automate the low touch, mundane tasks support teams are inundated with. We fully recognize and appreciate that there are multiple ways CX can and should be improved that don’t have anything to do with Artificial Intelligence. That’s why we feel compelled to introduce our readers to a larger scope of people who inspire a world of excellent customer experience and thought leadership.

Each of these thought leaders brings so much to the table, it was impossible to rank the list below in any other way besides in alphabetical order. We documented why we chose each of these customer service leaders in detail along with where to follow them on social media below.

Top 51 Customer Service Leaders and CX Influencers (Editor’s Choice):

  1. Adam Toporek
  2. Adrian Swinscoe
  3. Aimee Lucas
  4. Annette Franz
  5. Arie Goldshlager
  6. Augie Ray
  7. Barry Dalton
  8. Bill Quiseng
  9. Bob Thompson
  10. Bruce Temkin
  11. Chip Bell
  12. Colin Shaw
  13. Dan Gingiss
  14. David Avrin
  15. Denise Lee Yohn
  16. Dennis Wakabayashi
  17. Even Shumeyko
  18. Flavio Martins
  19. Frank Eliason
  20. Hilary George-Parkin
  21. Ian Golding
  22. Jake Perez
  23. Jay Baer
  24. Jeanne Bliss
  25. Jeff Toister
  26. Jeremy Watkin
  27. Jill Raff
  28. Jim Tincher
  29. Kate Nasser
  30. Kate Leggett
  31. Leslie O’Flahavan
  32. Lincoln Murphy
  33. Lynn Hunsaker
  34. Marsha Collier
  35. Martha Brooke
  36. Martin Hill-Wilson
  37. Matt Dixon
  38. Micah Solomon
  39. Mike Wittenstein
  40. Myra Golden
  41. Nate Brown
  42. Nick Mehta
  43. Puneet Mehta
  44. Richard Branson
  45. Ron Shevlin
  46. Seth Adler
  47. Shep Hyken
  48. Stacy Sherman
  49. Steve Curtin
  50. Steve DiGoia
  51. Teresa Allen

Adam Toporek

Customer Service Leaders: Adam Toporek

Adam Toporek is an internationally-recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and frontline trainer who helps organizations get results by thinking differently about customer service. He is a third-generation entrepreneur with extensive experience in retail, wholesale, franchising, and small business. Adam understands the impact that customer experience can have on the bottom line.

He’s the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero, the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog, and the co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast. Adam regularly shares his customer experience and customer service insights with a global audience. He has appeared in over 150 media and is regularly cited as a top customer experience thought leader. In addition to his customer experience work, Adam is an angel investor with an interest in entrepreneurs who disrupt the status quo.

Follow Adam on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Adam:

Adrian Swinscoe

Adrian helps organizations of all sizes deliver better customer service and customer experiences in two ways:

1) He acts as an advisor on specific service/experience/engagement issues on an ongoing basis or project-by-project basis. 2) Adrian helps clients build internal teams and leaders capabilities via mentoring, through whitepapers, keynotes, and masterclasses.

His clients range from large, publicly traded companies to leading professional service firms and fast-growth and established small businesses including Apple, Diesel, Freshworks, KFC, Pearson, Shell etc… plus lots of smaller brands and SMEs.

Adrian is also a best-selling author, Forbes contributor, blogger & podcaster, frequent conference speaker, panel participant, and Chari. His best-selling book in 2016 is called: How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing.

Follow Adrian on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Adrian:

Aimee Lucas

Aimee Lucas is an experience management researcher, advisor, trainer, and speaker. As part of Qualtrics’ XM Institute, she focuses her efforts on helping organizations optimize their experience management (XM) programs. She leads the XM Institute’s research into CX and EX best practices and the broader organizational capabilities required for building loyalty by improving customer and employee experiences. Aimee has over 20 years of experience in improving service delivery and transforming CX through people development and process improvement initiatives. 

Her areas of expertise include market research, program management, marketing, instructional design, and training. Aimee joined Qualtrics when it acquired Temkin Group, a leading CX research and advisory firm. Prior to joining Temkin Group, she implemented the CX strategy and managed the Voice of the Customer program for Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the top 10 public accounting and consulting firms in the US. Aimee is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in marketing management.

Follow Aimee on social media:

Our favorite content from Aimee:

Annette Franz

Annette Franz is the founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s got more than 25 years of experience (both client-side and vendor side). She helps companies understand their employees and customers and identify what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and overall experience.

She recently wrote the book on customer understanding. She’s the author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of the Business)

Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is regularly recognized by companies around the world as a top influencer in Customer Experience.

Follow Annette on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Annette:

Arie Goldshlager

Arie is a Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, Customer Lifecycle Management, and Innovation Independent Consultant. Arie’s Customer Lifecycle Management work is focused on developing Customer Strategy and Improving the performance of Customer Acquisition, Customer Onboarding, Customer Development, Customer Loyalty, and Customer Winback processes.

His Customer Insight work is focused on developing innovative segmentation, targeting, analysis, and measurement solutions. 

Arie’s key consulting clients included: Prodigy, Safeway, FedEx, USAA, Capital One, BT Wireless (O2), Samsung Card, LG Capital, and many more. Arie’s industry specialties include: Financial Services, Credit Card, Consumer Lending, Retail, Internet, Telecommunications, and other services companies.

His diversified experience includes significant client-side, consulting-side, and agency-side tenures. Arie is also an effective leader of call center performance improvement projects, and is particularly adept at balancing the company, customer, and frontline perspectives.

Follow Arie on Social Media:

Augie Ray

Augie Ray is a Vice President Analyst covering customer experience (CX) for marketing and CX leaders. His coverage topics include the ROI of CX, CX strategy and governance, how CX leaders secure and retain sponsorship, the buy/own/advocate customer journey, voice of customer (VoC) and survey strategies, customer journey mapping, CX analytics and measurement, the role of social media and word of mouth (WOM) in CX, and persona development.

Mr. Ray helps CX and marketing leaders to launch and manage successful CX programs, gather and use voice of the customer (VoC) data more effectively, align CX metrics to the right leading indicators of success, and improve the use of customer journey maps and personas. He also offers guidance on the “customer experience pyramid,” which helps brands define the experiences that matter more and identify more powerful and innovative experiences.

Follow Augie on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Augie:

Barry Dalton

Barry Dalton is a Customer Experience strategy and CX technology leader with accomplishments in designing and implementing strategy and technology architecture across Marketing, Sales & Service with a particular industry focus on Consumer Products, Pharmaceuticals, Retail, and Technology. After taking on various roles at Deloitte, Strategy, and GSK, he has been serving as the VP of Digital & Analytics Transformation at Genpact since May 2018.

He is currently focused on two areas:

  • The impact of the digital customer experience disruption, the next wave of emergent customer engagement channels, and the value of unstructured VOC data in understanding customer behavior and demand generation.
  • The upheaval that digital engagement and collaboration is having on business leadership and organizational communication.

Follow Barry on Social Media:

Bill Quiseng

Bill is an award-winning speaker, blogger, and writer in the areas of customer service for front-line associates and leadership for managers.

He has over thirty years of luxury resort/club management experience. Presently the general manager of Marriott Vacation Club Pulse San Diego, he was the general manager of The Inn at Bay Harbor‐A Renaissance Golf Resort, MI, recognized as one of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel+Leisure magazine.

Bill’s personal achievements include receiving the Renaissance Hotels General Manager of the Year, Marriott International Leadership Excellence and Sales Excellence Awards, Petoskey Chamber of Commerce Mission Award, and the American Hotel & Motel Association Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism.

Bill has been recognized for his customer service and customer experience insight with the following accolades: Userlike 11 Gurus of Customer Service, Fonolo Top 10 Tweeters Talking About the Customer Experience, Future Care Today Top Ten Social Customer Service Influencers, and SAP Business Innovation Top 60 Customer Experience Influencers.

Follow Ben on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Bill:

Bob Thompson

Bob Thompson is an international authority on customer-centric business management who has researched and shaped leading industry trends since 1998. He is founder and CEO of CustomerThink Corporation, an independent research and publishing firm, and founder and editor-in-chief of CustomerThink.com, the world’s largest online community dedicated to helping business leaders develop and implement customer-centric business strategies.

An author, keynote speaker and international authority on business management trends, he has been a thought leader in customer-centricity since 1998. His new book Hooked on Customers (April 2014) reveals the five habits of leading customer-centric firms. Thompson is also co-author of The Blueprint to CRM Success and author of the groundbreaking report “Customer Experience Management: A Winning Business Strategy for a Flat World.”

Before starting his firm, Thompson worked in the IT industry for fifteen years. He held sales and technical leadership positions at IBM, where he advised companies on the strategic use of information technology to solve business problems and gain a competitive advantage.

Follow Bob on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Bob:

Bruce Temkin

Bruce is widely viewed as a leading expert in how large organizations build differentiation with customer experience. During his 12 years with Forrester Research, Bruce led the company’s B2B, financial services, and customer experience practices. As a Vice President & Principal Analyst, he was the most-read analyst for 13 consecutive quarters and was one of the most highly demanded consultants and speakers in the industry. Bruce authored many of Forrester’s most popular research reports. He also led the creation and updating of many of Forrester’s customer experience evaluation methodologies and training workshops.

After leaving Forrester, Bruce founded the Temkin Group, a research and consulting firm. As the Managing Partner, he consulted for leading global companies, served as a keynote speaker at top industry events, researched customer experience trends, and authored Customer Experience Matters – one of the most popular blogs on customer experience. Temkin Group was acquired by Qualtrics in October 2018. The firm is a leading customer experience (CX) research, consulting, and training firm.

Follow Bruce on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Bruce:

  • Three Potential XM Roles for CIOs
  • Five XM Practices For Accelerating Your Digital Transformation

Chip Bell

Chip Bell is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a prolific writer. His 23rd book, “Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles” was released in February 2017 and is an inspirational guide to providing remarkable service. It won a 2017 Best Book Award for business books after winning a silver medal from North American Book Awards. His newest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, will be released in September 2020. 

Chip Bell is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a prolific writer. His 23rd book, “Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles” was released in February 2017 and is an inspirational guide to providing remarkable service. It won a 2017 Best Book Award for business books after winning a silver medal from North American Book Awards. His newest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, will be released in September 2020. 

Follow Chip on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Chip:

Colin Shaw

He is Founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC who helps organizations grow by identifying hidden, unmet needs. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy LLC, helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($).They capitalize on this by improving customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market. The Financial Times selected his company, Beyond Philosophy LLC, as one of the best management consultancies

Colin is recognized by Linkedin as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers’. Brand Quarterly readers also voted him one of the ‘top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50’ for two years in a row. A Global Guru poll established him as one of the top ‘Customer Service Gurus’ in the world.

Colin has written seven bestselling books on Customer-driven growth. He is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast. Customer Experience Podcasts | CX Podcasts | Colin Shaw 

Colin is an accomplished keynote conference speaker who can inspire organizations to focus on their Customers. His followers can subscribe to his LinkedIn newsletter ‘Why we buy’.

Follow Colin on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Colin:

Dan Gingiss

Dan’s 20-year career has consistently focused on delighting customers. He has held leadership positions at three Fortune 300 companies – McDonald’s, Discover and Humana – in customer experience, marketing, social media and customer service.

He is an international keynote speaker who believes that a remarkable customer experience is your best marketing. Dan doesn’t just talk about customer experience; his fast-paced, energetic presentation style creates an experience for the audience that they’ll surely remember. 

Dan is the author of the book, Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, a host of the Experience This! Show podcast and a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been named one of the “Top 100 Digital Marketers of 2019” by both Brand24 and BuzzSumo and a “Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow” by TopRank. 

Follow Dan on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Dan:

David Avrin

As one of the most in-demand Customer Experience Keynote Speakers and Consultants in the world today, David Avrin delivers profound wisdom to clients and audiences around the world. With a surprisingly relatable, conversational and very entertaining style, David delivers profoundly insightful and hard-hitting content to business audiences across a broad range of industries and categories.

His message and timely lessons on creating, delivering and promoting competitive advantages have been enthusiastically received by audiences across America and around the world.

A former CEO group leader, and executive coach with the world’s largest chief executive organization, David has worked with thousands of CEOs and business leaders on their business brand, customer experience, and competitive advantages.

David Avrin is the author of five books including the celebrated marketing books: It’s Not Who You Know It’s Who Knows You! and Visibility Marketing!,  His latest Customer Experience book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back) was singled out in Forbes as “One of the 7 Business Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read” and one of the “Top-Ten Business Books of 2019″

Follow David on Social Media:

Denise Lee Yohn

Through her expertise and personal approach, Denise has become an in-demand keynote speaker inspiring business leaders around the world to build great brands and exceptional organizations. Her keynote presentations have captivated international audiences at conferences including TEDx, the Consumer Electronics Show, The Art of Marketing, among others, and at corporate events for Facebook, Lexus, NFL, and more.

Denise has written several books including the bestseller What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest. She is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes and has been a sought-after writer for publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Knowledge@Wharton, ChangeThis, Seeking Alpha, QSR Magazine, among others. 

Denise served as lead strategist at advertising agencies for Burger King, Land Rover, and Unilever and as the marketing leader and analyst for Jack in the Box restaurants and Spiegel catalogs. Denise went on to head Sony Electronic Inc.’s first-ever brand office, where she garnered major corporate awards as the vice president/general manager of brand and strategy. She has served clients as an independent consulting partner since 2004.

Follow Denise on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Denise:

Dennis Wakabayashi

Dennis is an innovative Customer Experience evangelist with a deep understanding of consumer engagement, digital media, and reporting analytics.

As a well-known CX subject matter expert, he teaches CX for safaribooksonline.com / Orielly Media as well as CX Marketing classes at SMU. He regularly contributes topical posts on digital media and consumer experience for sites like brandwatch. Most recently, he was named one of Campaign US’ Digital 40 over 40.

Today Dennis and his team at Integer Group deliver integrated engagement programs that improve brand reputation and drive strategic integrated success for clients like FedEx Office, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, and See’s Candies.

Follow Dennis on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Dennis:

Evan Shumeyko

Evan is currently focused on Client Experience Strategy for BNY Mellon by removing unnecessary complexity and processes to become more nimble and able to rethink how they help clients deliver and maximize value.

Previously, he founded Ogilvy & Mather’s strategy practice (sales enablement, service design and employee experience) charged with “making brands more human”. Evan has completed assignments for marquee clients such as American Express, Southwest Airlines, FM Global, IBM, Dupont, BlackRock, E*Trade, etc. He is an expert in transforming how employees work with customers through multiple digital marketing strategies. He empowers employees with actionable data and user interfaces to help increase customer engagement.

Follow Evan on Social Media:

Flavio Martins

Flavio is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise SSL Certificate Management and PKI technology for security in the Internet of Things. DigiCert is trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations.

Flavio has a B.S. in Information Technology from Utah Valley University and M.S. in Technology Management from Denver University. His focus is on helping teams leverage technology with the special human factor to create exceptional and memorable customer experiences.

Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage and win customer loyalty. 

Follow Flavio on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Flavio:

Frank Eliason

Frank Eliason is an American corporate executive and author. Referred to as “the most famous customer service manager in the US, possibly the world” by BusinessWeek, Eliason is best known for developing the use of social media in the practice of customer relations. 

He joined Comcast as executive support manager in 2007 during a period of high-profile public relations issues. In 2008, Eliason, as part of the team selected to address the issues, created the Twitter account @ComcastCares and began directly responding to customer complaints. Eliason, who interacted with more than 10,000 Comcast customers via Twitter, was the subject of significant press attention; he was featured in The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Wired, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications.

In July 2010, Eliason left Comcast to become the global director of social media at Citi. After receiving numerous recognitions in his role at Citi, Eliason was named Executive VP, US Digital, and Customer Experience for Zeno Group in October 2015. He serves on the BoD for the Council of  Better Business Bureaus and the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals.

Follow Frank on Social Media:

Hilary George-Parkin

You won’t find Hilary on too many “Customer Service Thought Leaders” lists, but she has one of the most extensive articles on customer service you’ll find on the internet. Hilary is a New York City-based freelance journalist. She writes (mostly) about fashion, culture, retail, and technology for publications including Vox, Glamour, CNN, Racked, Refinery29, Fashionista, i-D, Vice News, Curbed, and TheAtlantic.com. She is also a regular contributor to Footwear News covering the retail industry. You can find those stories here.

Prior to going freelance, Hilary worked for Stylecaster, Lucky magazine (RIP), Styleite (ditto), and Harper’s Bazaar. She graduated from New York University and Columbia Journalism School, and she is originally from Toronto, Canada. If Hilary continues to write about customer service, we’ll continue to read.

Follow Hilary on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Hilary:

Ian Golding

A highly influential freelance Customer Experience consultant, Ian advises leading companies on Customer Experience strategy, measurement, improvement and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. Ian has worked across multiple industries and has deployed customer experience tools and methodologies all over the world. An internationally renowned speaker and blogger on the subject of customer experience (ijgolding.com/blog), Ian also served on the inaugural board of Directors of the CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association).

In 2014, Ian officially became a Certified Customer Experience Professional. CCXP designation is for practitioners who want to be recognized for their expertise and skills while defining standards and best practices for the industry. It is the first global professional qualification for Customer Experience.

Ian is also Chairman of the judging panel at the UK Customer Experience Awards and the Gulf Customer Experience Awards and is an Advisor and featured columnist for CustomerThink.

Ian’s first book, ‘Customer What, the honest and practical guide to customer experience’ was published in April 2018.

Follow Ian on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Ian:

Jake Perez

Jake Perez is a Peabody & Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist with more than two decades of TV writing and producing experience.

For the last two years, Jake has worked as an editor for LinkedIn News. His curations often include news related to customer experience across the business world. Before joining LinkedIn News, Jake spent 18 years as a writer and segment producer for CNN. We honor him in this list because of the growing influence he and LinkedIn have on the news we consume.

Follow Jake on Social Media:

Jay Baer

Jay Baer, CSP, CPAE has spent 25 years in digital marketing and customer experience, consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 34 of the FORTUNE 500. His current firm – Convince &Convert – provides word of mouth, digital marketing, and customer experience advice and counsel to some of the world’s most important brands.

His new book, Talk Triggers, is the complete guide to creating customers using strategic, operational differentiators that compel word of mouth. Talk Triggers is the instruction manual for making businesses grow with customer conversation.

Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute and is visited by more than 250,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 65,000 times monthly and was named 2015’s best marketing podcast by the Content Marketing Awards.

A fixture in social media, Jay has been named a top influencer of CMOs, B2B marketers, small business owners, and digital marketers. He’s also one of the world’s top Global Gurus in customer service and customer experience.

Follow Jay on Social Media:

Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss guides the achievement of business growth through leadership bravery and elevated business practices. She is known globally for transforming businesses to earn customer-driven growth. A 5-time Chief Customer Officer and coach to over 20,000 leaders, her practices are field-tested and proven. Bliss’ 5-Competencies for customer-driven growth have been adopted around the world, and her 4 best selling books on customer experience and leadership are the guidebooks of the CX Profession. Jeanne Bliss has delivered over 1,500 transformative keynotes globally, has coached over 20,000 leaders on leading to elevate their company in the marketplace, with sustainable growth. Jeanne Bliss is the cofounder of the customer experience professionals association and is fondly known as the “godmother” of customer experience.

 Follow Jeanne on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Jeanne:

Jeff Toister

Jeff Toister is an author, consultant, and trainer who helps companies get their employees obsessed with customer service.

He is a best-selling author who has written three customer service books: The Service Culture Handbook, Getting Service Right, and Customer Service Tip of the Week. His Inside Customer Service blog has been recognized as a top customer service blog by Customer Contact Central, Credit Donkey, and Feedspot, which named the blog one of the Top 50 customer service blogs on the planet. Jeff helps clients develop customer-focused cultures. He has been recognized by multiple organizations as a customer service thought leader. Thousands of customer service professionals from around the world subscribe to Jeff’s Customer Service Tip of the Week email.

Jeff is a dynamic keynote speaker whose presentations are always highly interactive, practical, and engaging. Over 140,000 people have taken one of his video-based training courses on LinkedIn Learning, including Leading a Customer-Centric Culture, Customer Service Foundations, and Working with Upset Customers.

Follow Jeff on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Jeff:

Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.

Follow Jeremy on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Jeremy:

Jill Raff

Jill Raff, founder and the driving force behind The Jill Raff Group, is a highly experienced CX Strategist (Customer Experience) and published author. For over 30 years, she has been delivering world-class customer service and experiences.

Jill developed her customer-first philosophy growing up in the “McDonald’s family.” In 1959, her family opened store #150 in Ocala, Florida. From age seven, while shadowing her father and working her way around every station in the restaurant, she experienced first-hand the results of founder Ray Kroc’s philosophy of QSC & V (Quality, Services, Cleanliness & Value). Jill was raised with a robust understanding of a strong work ethic and knowing what good customer service can ultimately do for a business.

Jill has made a name for herself by empowering businesses to create company cultures that deliver extraordinary customer experiences so that customers will become obsessed with doing business with them. This work has been led by the creation of her proprietary Inside-Out Framework™.

Follow Jill on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Jill:

 

Jim Tincher

With a lifelong passion for customer experiences, Jim founded Heart of the Customer to help companies of all sizes increase customer engagement. Before launching the company, Jim led customer engagement initiatives at Best Buy, Gallup and UnitedHealth Group. In the process, he became an expert in using Voice of the Customer research to identify unmet needs, develop new products and improve customer service. His Heart of the Customer Customer Experience Model™ is a powerful tool designed with one simple goal: customer loyalty. Customers ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies use his maps to visualize their way to improved performance.

His fascination with customer experience led him to test himself by becoming a Certified Customer Experience Professional, only the second in the world to earn such a designation. Jim is a frequent keynote speaker, helping employees to engage customers through a personal connection. Jim teaches that true customer engagement only happens when you solve a problem and create a personal connection while doing so. He is a dynamic speaker, passionate about building a world-class customer experience that results in engaged customers who come back time and again.

Follow Jim on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Jim:

Kate Nasser

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ and founder/president CAS, Inc. is a former techie turned people skills guru who turns interaction obstacles into business success.

For 30 years Fortune 500 leaders have tapped Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ to create dynamic inspirational leadership, high performance teamwork, and superior customer experiences. In all of her keynotes and workshops, Kate’s insights will teach you how to lead morale, engage employees like never before, and wow the customer with personal comfort.

Kate Nasser is also the founder/host of the long-running weekly Twitter Global People Skills Chat (hashtag #PeopleSkillsChat) every Sunday 10am Eastern Time. She is often quoted in industry journals on leading morale, employee engagement, customer experience, and teamwork. Kate was named to Huffington Posts’ Top 100 Customer Service Pros, to Simplr’s list of top customer experience superstars in 2018, and to ICMI’s Top 50 Customer Experience Thought Leaders of 2017.

Follow Kate on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Kate:

Kate Leggett

Kate serves Application Development & Delivery Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service strategies, maturity, benchmarking, governance, and ROI. She is an accomplished public speaker and frequently presents at industry events such as CRM Evolution. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, and industry publications such as CRM Magazine, KM World, and Destination CRM.

Kate has extensive industry experience, with more than 10 years of leadership at CRM and customer service software companies, where she held senior product marketing and product management roles. She is also a published author on customer service trends and best practices.

Follow Kate on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Kate:

Leslie O’Flahavan

Leslie has delivered writing courses for support center staff, customer service agents, and social media managers, helping thousands of professionals hone their customer-focused writing skills. She helps support organizations train agents to write well in all service channels, measure the quality of their writing, and revise and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Leslie is the co-author of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.


Follow Leslie on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Leslie:

Lincoln Murphy

Lincoln Murphy is a Growth Consultant focused on customer-centric growth. For over a decade, he has helped hundreds of companies accelerate growth by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle, from customer acquisition to retention to account expansion and advocacy. 

He authored the Customer Success book for Wiley! He helps SaaS companies grow by taking full advantage of the SaaS business model and unique distribution methods this model allows. 

He has spoken at events and conferences around the world, from Poland to Brazil, and Ireland to Canada, including SaaS University, Freemium Summit, SIIA On-Demand, HostingCon, Pulse, RD Summit, Revenue Summit, #FlipMyFunnel, and TSIA’s TSW World.

Follow Lincoln on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Lincoln:

Lynn Hunsaker

Lynn Hunsaker is Chief Customer Officer of ClearAction Continuum where she co-founded its flagship ClearAction Value Exchange as a 24×7 silo-bridging mentor for marketing, CS and CX roles. During 11 years at Applied Materials (semiconductor equipment manufacturer) and 3 years at Sonoco, Lynn’s roles included Director of Marketing & Business Development, Director of Marketing Communications, Head of Global Quality, Customer Satisfaction Improvement Manager, Strategic Information Manager and Voice of the Customer Manager.

Lynn has taught 20+ university courses at UC Berkeley Extension, San Jose State University, Mission College and UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension. As a CXPA Recognized Training Provider, her Customer Experience Excellence online course has benefited people in 50+ countries. For 5 years, Lynn led the world’s first global study of B2B CX practices. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Customer Experience Professionals Association and is past president of Silicon Valley American Marketing Association. Lynn is a top author on CustomerThink.com where she is one of five Hall of Fame award recipients. Lynn authored 3 handbooks available on Amazon Kindle, including Metrics You Can Manage for Success, Customer Experience Improvement Momentum, and Innovating Superior Customer Experience.

Follow Lyn on Social Media:

Customer Service Leaders: Marsha Collier

Marsha Collier is an author, radio personality, podcast host, and educator specializing in technology, Internet marketing, and E-commerce.

Before her online career began, Collier owned and operated her own marketing and advertising firm, The Collier Company, and won numerous awards including “Small Businessperson of the Year” accolades from several organizations.

In 2003, her book Starting an eBay Business For Dummies appeared on the BusinessWeek list of best-selling paperback business books. In December 2011, her book Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide: How to Connect with Your Customers to Sell More ranked #4 among “What Corporate America Is Reading.” By 2013, her book eBay For Dummies was one of the best sellers on the topic. As of 2016, with over 1 million copies of her books in print, she was the all-time best selling eBay author. She hosts the Computer and Technology Radio podcast with broadcaster Mark Cohen.

Follow Marsha on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Marsha:

Customer Service Leaders: Martha Brooke

To apply a science-based approach to improving the customer experience, Martha Brooke founded Interaction Metrics in 2004. Martha is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and holds a Blackbelt in Six Sigma. 

Martha brings objectivity and a sense of curiosity to a variety of Customer Listening methods. Working with her team of Analysts, she measures customer experience successes, gaps and friction points—and pinpoints the details of how to improve.

To spur critical thinking about customer feedback and customer service, Martha leads nationally recognized conference sessions and workshops. She also shares analysis of customer experience and surveys through her blog which is syndicated by CustomerThink and other portals.

Prior to Interaction Metrics, Martha worked for two dotcoms, Lucy.com and Food.com, and consulted for Nike and Adidas.

Some of the organizations where Martha Brooke has spoken include Project Management Institute (PMI), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), HDI, The Score Conference, Customer Solutions Expo, American Marketing Association (AMA), and NICSA at the Harvard Club.

Follow Martha on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Martha:

Customer Service Leaders: Martin Hill-Wilson

Martin Hill-Wilson, an independent consultant with a long-standing track record in customer engagement strategy and implementation.

He was involved in the very first wave of contact centre implementation during the 1980’s with the Merchants Group, one of the first BPOs and transformation consultancies and ended up as CEO. Martin is a well known international keynote speaker, trainer, strategist and facilitator. 

Martin runs masterclasses and redesigns customer engagement for organizations under his Brainfood brand. He is also a global authority on social customer service and co-author of ‘Delivering Effective Social Customer Service’.

Follow Martin on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Martin:

Customer Service Leaders: Matt Dixon

Customer Service Leaders: Matt Dixon

Matt Dixon is the Chief Product & Research Officer of the Austin-based AI venture, Tethr. Prior to his role with Tethr, he was the Global Head of Sales Force Effectiveness Solutions at Korn Ferry Hay Group and, before that, held numerous global leadership roles in research, product development and management for CEB, now Gartner. An accomplished business researcher and writer, Matt is known for his frame-breaking and provocative work in the areas of sales, customer service and customer experience. He is the author of three Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestsellers—The Challenger Sale, The Effortless Experience and The Challenger Customer­—and he is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review with more than 20 print and online articles to his credit. He is a sought-after speaker and advisor to management teams around world, having presented his findings and insights at a wide range of industry conferences as well as to hundreds of senior executive teams, including those of many Fortune 500 companies.

Follow Matt on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Martin:

Customer Service Leaders: Micah Solomon

Customer Service Leaders: Micah Solomon

Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant, customer service speaker, keynote speaker, author, Senior Contributor to Forbes.com, customer experience consultant, and influencer on customer service, the customer experience, and corporate culture. He is the bestselling author of four books.

As a senior contributor to Forbes.com, Micah specializes in customer service, customer experience, company culture, and hospitality.

He is a best-selling author for three books: Exceptional Service: Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, High-Tech, High Touch Customer Service, and Your Customer is the Star. His latest book is The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets.

Follow Micah on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Micah:

Customer Service Leaders: Mike Wittenstein

Customer Service Leaders: Mike Wittenstein

Over three decades, Mike Wittenstein has successfully guided leaders and their teams through times of immense change. His robust story-driven process helps to bring clarity to ideas, commitment towards outcomes, and growth via strategic thinking. Mike has presented to countless audiences in 24 countries and 100+ cities around the world. Meeting planners, event organizers, and corporate trainers recognize him for his approachable, understandable, and positive presence in front of audiences, online, in videos, and with the press.

Mike’s results-driven approach has helped companies such as Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines, Holiday Inn, IBM, the University of Phoenix, Piedmont Hospital, Transitions Optical, and hundreds of others. Together, Mike’s clients have created almost $2 billion in value by applying his ideas and proven process for the articulation, execution, and adoption of their strategies, and the design of stories and experiences.

Mike co-led Galileo, one of the world’s first digital agencies, then joined IBM Global Services in the role of eVisionary. Now the founder and managing partner at Storyminers, Mike shepherds mid-market companies to higher operating results and profitable exits using Storyminers’ unique combination of Story, Strategy, Experience Design, and Technology.

Follow Mike on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Mike:

Customer Service Leaders: Myra Golden

Customer Service Leaders: Myra Golden

Myra Golden is the founder of Myra Golden Seminars, LLC. She is a long time speaker and training partner to many Fortune 500 companies across the nation. She creates fun and engaging classes to teach her clients to give their customers the best possible experience.

Myra’s engaging approach to customer service training is loved by her clients. Many of her clients rave about her workshops.

Her impressive resume includes many of the world’s biggest companies, like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Walmart, Verizon Business, and many more…Before the start of Myra Golden Seminars—which came to be in 1999—Myra worked at Thrifty Car Rental as the Global Head of Consumer Affairs. Travel Agent Magazine hailed Myra a Top 100 Rising Star for leading her team to unprecedented customer recovery and customer loyalty in the hospitality industry.

Follow Myra on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Myra:

Customer Service Leaders: Nate Brown

Customer Service Leaders: Nate Brown

Nate Brown is a perpetual student of the world’s greatest experiences and the people who create them. Having spent the first decade of this career managing a complex technical support environment for Occupational Health and eLearning software, Nate transitioned to Customer Experience 2015. After authoring The CX Primer, Brown was dubbed the “CX Influencer of the Year” by CloudCherry in 2019, and a top CX thought leader by TruRating, Qminder, ProcedureFlow, LifeHelpNow, ICMI, and Exceeders. As a passion project, Nate recently created CX Accelerator, a first-class virtual community for Customer Experience professionals. Nate currently serves as the Chief Experience Officer for Officium Labs and can be found at a variety of conferences speaking and training on the CX topics he loves.

Follow Nate on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Nate:

Customer Service Leaders: Nick Mehta

As the CEO of Gainsight, Nick is working with 700 “Gainsters” to create the customer success category that’s currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide. Gainsight’s industry-leading platform, the Customer Cloud, helps businesses including Adobe, GE, Workday, and ADP to improve customer retention, accelerate expansion revenue, and increase client advocacy. 

Gainsight has been the main flag-bearer of the customer success movement, organizing a global network of events under the Pulse banner. In addition, Nick and his colleagues wrote two books on customer success; Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift.

Under Nick’s leadership, Gainsight has built an award-winning company culture. In just this past year, Gainsight has been recognized with numerous best workplace awards, including “Best Company Culture in 2018,” and “Best Company Outlook in 2019” by Comparably, Inc.

Nick has been named one of the Top SaaS CEOs by the Software report three years in a row,  one of the Top CEOs of 2018 by Comparably, was a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Follow Nick on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Nick:

Customer Service Leaders: Puneet Mehta

Puneet is CEO and Founder of Netomi, an artificial intelligence platform for conversational commerce. He spent much of his career as a tech executive on Wall Street, building predictive platforms to power large-scale trading systems. In 2010, he Co-Founded MyCityWay, an award-winning, context-aware urban mobility platform and in 2013 he Co-Founded MobileROI, a mobile marketing software.

Advertising Age named Puneet to the Creativity 50 list, honoring the most creative and innovative thinkers and doers. Business Insider magazine named Puneet to “The Silicon Alley 100: New York’s Coolest Tech People In 2010” and “35 Up-And-Coming Entrepreneurs You Need To Meet.” In his spare time, he rides and works on his vintage motorcycle, mixes music, studies minimalist industrial design and volunteers for two non-profits.

Follow Puneet on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Puneet:

Customer Service Leaders: Richard Branson

Customer Service Leaders: Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British business magnate, investor, author and former philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which controls more than 400 companies in various fields.

Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he started Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”] For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure. In 2007, he was placed in the Time 100 Most Influential People in The World list.

In June 2020, Forbes listed Branson’s estimated net worth at US$4.1 billion.

Follow Richard on Social Media:

Customer Service Leaders: Ron Shevlin

Customer Service Leaders: Ron Shevlin

Ron Shevlin is the Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. Author of the Fintech Snark Tank on Forbes and the book Smarter Bank, Ron is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally and is a frequent keynote speaker at banking and fintech industry events (when there were still events).

Follow Ron on Social Media:

Customer Service Leaders: Shep Hyken

Customer Service Leaders: Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.

Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, Be Amazing or Go Home and The Convenience Revolution. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. (Now available as an online/web-based training program!) 

Follow Shep on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Shep:

Customer Service Leaders: Stacy Sherman

Customer Service Leaders: Stacy Sherman

Stacy is a Customer Experience Leader, Strategist, Practitioner, and Digital Marketer, known for humanizing business and differentiating brands beyond price.

Currently, Stacy works at Schindler Elevator Corporation as Director of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement. She is building and leading a talented CX team, implementing profitable programs, and partnering with 60 sales offices to deliver customer excellence.

Stacy’s journey to CX began in 2013 due to a fortuitous reorganization at Verizon. Her role expanded to increase customer satisfaction and brand advocacy by infusing customer and employee feedback in new product development, website design, marketing, and pricing strategies. Prior to that, she worked for 12+ years in sales and marketing at diverse companies and advertising agencies. As she gained expertise in CX best practices and methodologies, Stacy dedicated herself to combine her business expertise with a passion to provide real authentic experiences for customers and employees. 

Follow Stacy on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Stacy:

Customer Service Leaders: Steve Curtin

Customer Service Leaders: Steve Curtin

Steve has 20 years of experience between hotel operations, sales and marketing, training and development, and customer service roles working for Marriott International, one of the premiere customer-focused companies in the world.

As the Area Director of Training for the New York City market, Steve organized the training efforts at more than a dozen area hotels to successfully coordinate corporate-wide training initiatives. While at the NY Marriott Marquis, Steve worked with a team of Marriott executives to implement training that resulted in dramatic increases in employee and customer satisfaction survey scores. One such initiative titled The Basics was adapted from the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards in 1998 and branded by Marriott headquarters to become a company-wide initiative involving more than 3,000 hotels.

Since 1992, Steve has delivered interactive and engaging presentations on three continents, in six countries, and 26 states. Steve has delivered over 600 presentations to more than 20,000 people.

Follow Steve on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Steve:

Customer Service Leaders: Steve DiGoia

Customer Service Leaders: Steve DiGioia

With 20+ years in the hospitality industry and a lifetime of customer service experience, Steve DiGioia uses storytelling to share real-world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale and provide the experience your customers desire.

As a certified trainer, author & speaker, Steve has been recognized as a three-time “World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professional” by Global Gurus.org and a “Top 50 Customer Thought Leader” by ICMI. He is also a featured contributor to the leading hospitality and customer service websites. With a tagline of “Finding Ways to WOW Your Customer”, Steve continues his pursuit of excellence on his award-winning blog sharing his best strategies on customer service, management, and leadership.

Follow Steve on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Steve:

Customer Service Leaders: Teresa Allen

Customer Service Leaders: Teresa Allen


​Teresa Allen, customer service speaker & customer service trainer, is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national customer service training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense customer service and customer experience solutions to business. Teresa has been presenting her highly acclaimed customer service keynote and customer service training programs across the US and abroad for over 25 years.

Follow Teresa on Social Media:

Our favorite content from Teresa:

Happy Customer Service Appreciation Week!

Written by Dylan Max  on   Oct 4, 2021

Happy Customer Service Appreciation Week you fellow popup clickers!

In honor of the amazing work you provide on a daily basis, we at Netomi would like to say “thanks!” And to honor you, we’d like to give you $25 in Amazon gift cards.

A quick side note: The last time I clicked a popup with the promise of earning money was in 1999 (that story ended with my parents buying a new computer after the old one got attacked by some virus). For all you folks that took the risk of clicking our popup, you are in luck – this offer is real and virus-free!

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Fill out our demo request form at www.netomi.com/request-demo 
  2. Someone should reach out to you asking for your availability (check your spam folder just in case)
  3. Share your availability and mention that you’re interested in the Amazon gift card

That’s it! After you confirm your meeting time, we’ll send over your gift card lickity-split!

A few points to cover regarding gift card eligibility:

  • Because of our gift card sending abilities, we’ll only be able to send cards out to people based in the USA, Canada, Italy, France, UK, Spain, and Germany. If you live somewhere else, we’ll get you next time
  • We can give you a whole lot more than $25. In fact, some of our customers save millions of dollars by using our AI for Customer Service. If you have less than 1000 monthly support tickets, we probably won’t be able to help you. For that reason, your company must receive at least 1,000 support tickets to be eligible.
  • Limit one per company
  • First-time requesters only

Alright! What are you waiting for? Check out www.netomi.com/request-demo now.

Happy Customer Service Appreciation Week!

Yours truly,
Dylan

Game Day: How AI Can Help Sports Betting Companies Win The Customer Loyalty Championship

Written by  on   Sep 1, 2021

Online sports gambling is a booming business. But as upstarts break into the market to try and steal market share from more established players, it’s not the platform or user interface that’s going to determine who is the winner in this multi-billion dollar market. It’s the customer experience. Can AI help sports betting companies take home the biggest payout – loyalty? 

The rise of a burgeoning industry 

The online and mobile sports betting industry is having a moment, with interest propelled globally by the Pandemic, increased digitalization and more secure digital payments1. It’s an industry expected to reach $127.3 billion globally by 2027. 

A lot of this growth is coming from the U.S., following the legalization across many states after the 2018 Supreme Court Decision. In the country, sports betting is projected to become a $40 billion industry in the next decade2 – up from today’s $19 billion a year3. Already, close to 50% of adults in the US made a sports bet at least once in their life, and this is only expected to rise4.

Especially during blockbuster moments which open the door for sportsbooks to turn short-term and game-specific betting into long-term engagement. During the 2021 Super Bowl, 23.2 million Americans bet $4.3 billion on the game5. Is 23.2 million people a lot? If every person in New York City, LA, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia bet on the game, we would be still short by 4.5million. For March Madness, 47 Million Americans were expected to wager. But the opportunity is not always seized6.

The industry’s gut-wrenching fumble during the biggest sporting event of the year. 

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. One of the biggest – if not the biggest – sporting events of the year in the US. After becoming legalized in more than two dozen states7, it’s a massive opportunity for sports betting. Millions have been funneled into paid media to entice fans to wager. For sportsbooks, Super Bowl Sunday is the opportunity to capture the imagination of new fans and reap the benefits of an engaged and hyped-up audience. The increase in demand during the Super Bowl was dramatic: online sports betting volumes in the US jumped 254% year-over-year8. On game day, FanDuel was the third most downloaded app in the App Store, beat only by TikTok and Robinhood.

All eyes are on these sportsbooks. And the platforms crash. Not just one, but many of the most popular sports betting platforms – including Barstool Sports, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers – suffered crippling technical issues that prevented people from placing or settling bets9. Some more severe than others. 

The companies blamed “unprecedented demand.” In a statement, DraftKings said: “We’re aware customers were unable to access our mobile and online Sportsbook. It appears this outage was caused by a surge in traffic that caused problems for our backend provider.” While FanDuel said: “Due to unprecedented demand during the game, FanDuel customers in Michigan and Illinois did experience intermittent outages while other markets saw latency in accessing our Sportsbook mobile app.

While companies were responsive, the backlash from fans was fierce. 

“How is it that I’m seeing fanduel commercials on my television almost rubbing it in that I can’t even place a bet on your app that crashes any time there’s a reasonably large sporting event,” one person wrote. 

And the impact would be felt long after the fourth-quarter clock ran out. According to Susquehanna analyst Joseph Stauff: “While outages happen, it happened at literally the worst possible time and that is a VERY important miss….The importance of the outage is whether it sours customers in Michigan [since it was just legalized], in particular, that have not yet locked into a preferred app as that takes a few months10.”

He continued: “The risk is that the massive frustration created by not being able to get a bet in on the Super Bowl for 45 minutes prior to the game and during the first quarter is enough for them to move to try competing apps10.” 

During the biggest moment of the year, instead of capturing long-term loyalty, many major betting sites sent customers switching teams and running towards the competition. 


Learn more about companies using chatbots for customer service.


The top challenges in the sports betting industry 

As with any industry experiencing hyper-growth, there are numerous challenges that established and new entrants face. Here are the top challenges in the sports betting industry today: 

  • Spikes in demand: Like in the case of the Super Bowl, sometimes platforms and systems are not prepared to handle a surge in demand, and systems break. Even with planning. If there is unprecedented interest in a short amount of time, back-end systems can become overwhelmed. 
  • Legalization inconsistency: Sports betting is not legal everywhere. While more and more countries take the steps to legalize it, there are still inconsistencies by country and even within countries. In the United States, for instance, not every state has legalized sports betting which creates challenges, including stringent geolocation and KYC/AML requirements11.
  • Fraud and security: Betters have payment information stored within these platforms. Like crypto companies, sports betting companies need to have the most secure systems in place as they are vulnerable to hacks. 
  • Increased competition: More and more companies are getting into the game. From innovative startups to established casinos and entertainment companies, there is a huge fight for consumer attention and wallets. 

The industry’s biggest rival: Competition and churn 

While DraftKings and FanDuel comprise roughly 80% of the U.S. market, floods of competitors are getting in on the action in an industry that will likely outgrow sales of alcohol and all legal cannabis12

There are close to 31K businesses in the sports betting market globally13. Legacy casinos have entered the ring – Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have their own retail sports betting books. Up and comers like Vigtory14 (which was acquired by FuboTV15) are charging less in a bid to woo high rollers. Traditional media companies like Fox, Barstool Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and the Score are trying their hand16. Even Jay-Z is rumored to be breaking into the lucrative space17. 

“From a crowded field of competitors, only a handful will likely survive long term,” according to The Wall Street Journal2.  

The bad news for companies in the space is that it’s becoming harder to stand out. “Brands are fighting this long hard battle for market share, rising customer acquisition costs and getting high churn rates,” says Dave Edwards, exec VP of global business development at R3 Worldwide. “It’s hard for these sportsbook companies to differentiate themselves. Legally they’re really all the same, all regulated by the state and licensed12.”

In a bid to capture brand loyalty, it’s not uncommon for these companies to give out daily prizes and cash for free. No season-long commitments or money down. Billions are spent on promotions. DraftKings is estimated to spend $93 million on paid media alone12

The companies without these deep pockets, though, need other ways to compete. Could the biggest differentiator be customer experience?

The game plan: Competing on customer experience 

As in other industries where people’s money is on the line (like cryptocurrency, for instance), people expect immediate support if an issue arises. Considering that 81% of bets on live sporting events are done online18, solid in-platform (online chat or in-app chat) support is crucial. Online sports gambling is a 24/7 business and customer support needs to be, too. Being available to people when they need you helps create intimate, emotional connections that can increase revenue, drive engagement, create fan advocates and increase betting frequency. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots can help sportsbooks and betting sites provide immediate resolutions to repetitive queries so human agents can focus on more complex issues or provide top-notch white-glove support to big spenders. So even if there are unpredictable times of sportsbook outages like last year’s Super Bowl, customers with everyday questions can get the answers they need. 

Here are the top sports betting AI customer support use cases:

  • Assisting during onboarding: There are troves of people trying out betting apps for the first time. AI Chatbots can help navigate through sometimes unintuitive onboarding processes and decrease immediate, first-session churn (25% of users abandon an app just after one use19). 
  • Verifying accounts and providing log-in assistance: AI Chatbots can answer common questions related to account management, troubleshoot validation process glitches and get people engaged with betting content faster.  
  • Providing frictionless money exchanges: When bets are placed and deposits and withdrawals are requested, people expect immediate attention; their money’s on the line. At this pivotal time, if there are any issues or friction, people are likely to become disenchanted with a service. An AI chatbot can walk a person through the steps and answer questions throughout the process instantly.  
  • Cross-selling: Based on historical behavior, sportsbooks and betting sites can understand which customers would likely be interested in betting on new events or joining contests. AI chatbots can automate messages to customers the back-end algorithms predict would be interested. 
  • Promoting responsible gaming: AI chatbots can preemptively intervene when a person is getting close to their self-set betting limits. It can offer education and tips on how to bet responsibly and flag potential addictive behavior. 
  • Troubleshooting common bugs and technical issues: While human agents will likely be needed in real-time during technical issues during times of high traffic, after a glitch has been resolved, AI chatbots can be trained to alert people of the issue and how to settle bets. AI can also act as the first line of defense to gather information from people affected who report losses to speed the time to resolution. 

The time is now to prioritize sports betting CX 

“Eventually, things will shake out and there will be clear winners in the space, but right now it’s a pure land grab and eyeball grab,” says Derek Van Nostran, chief marketing officer of VSiN, the 24/7 sports betting cable network12. As there are regulatory constraints with differentiation between the products and services themselves, bookmakers need to prioritize their customer experience to stand out and capture long-term loyalty. 

Can we help you determine the benefit your retail sportsbook can reap from adopting AI? Request a demo today

References

  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-online-gambling-market-could-exceed-125-billion-by-2027-301194868.html
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-upcoming-nfl-season-is-crunch-time-for-sports-betting-11629451802 
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/02/25/not-just-a-game-online-sports-betting-and-the-rise-of-corrosive-technology/?sh=15e6d95270ec
  4. https://playtoday.co/blog/sports-betting-statistics/
  5. https://www.americangaming.org/new/23-2-million-americans-to-wager-on-super-bowl-lv/
  6. https://www.americangaming.org/new/47-million-americans-to-wager-on-march-madness-as-legal-sports-betting-booms/
  7. https://www.americangaming.org/research/state-gaming-map/ 
  8. https://sportshandle.com/geocomply-state-challenges/
  9. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/08/sports-gambling-sites-crash-during-footballs-biggest-game-.html
  10. https://sportshandle.com/sb-unplanned-outages-2921/
  11. https://www.sporttechie.com/sports-betting-gambling-challenges-once-legalized 
  12. https://adage.com/article/marketing-news-strategy/us-sports-betting-race-and-many-marketers-want-piece-action/2305551 
  13. https://www.statista.com/topics/1740/sports-betting/
  14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissheridan/2020/09/12/new-player-in-us-sports-gambling-industry-seeks-to-win-big-by-cutting-the-vig/?sh=5832a5123343 
  15. https://sporttechie.com/fubotv-plots-sportsbook-integration-with-vigtory-acquisition
  16. https://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/29174799/sports-betting-growth-us-extraordinary 
  17. https://www.sportscasting.com/jay-z-wants-to-start-sports-gambling-empire
  18. https://www.casino.org/news/most-sports-betting-is-online-as-more-states-plan-to-go-mobile/ 
  19. https://learn.g2.com/how-to-reduce-app-churn

Crypto Chatbots: Filling The CX Gap In The Cryptocurrency Industry

Written by Dylan Max  on   Jun 29, 2021

The Cryptoeconomy has a customer experience problem. 

“I need to unlock my account. Please reply to my emails and give me solutions. I can’t lose my money!”

Multiple issues over the last month which cost me $$$ several open cases and 0% response?? When are you going to help me or is it easier to just forget? Will be following up with [SEC] soon.” 

These are just two examples of irate users of a major crypto platform panicking and pleading for help on Reddit and Twitter after trying to contact the company on many other channels. 

The cryptocurrency business is nothing short of a global phenomenon. But it’s also a business that raises many questions in customers’ minds due to the industry’s infancy and complexity. Customers face technical issues that induce panic when they miss trading opportunities, can’t buy or sell, or access their accounts. And when an issue arises, digital currency and financial exchange platforms have often failed to deliver the support that their customers expect. Without automation, supporting a growing global customer base is extremely difficult, which is why crypto companies are adopting chatbots to scale immediate, meaningful support across channels, time zones and languages. 


“We know that we have let many of you down and we are doing everything in our power to turn the page,” Casper Sorensen, Vice President, Customer Experience at CoinBase, wrote a post to apologize after one instance of public backlash1

Why is crypto customer experience failing?

In a New York Times article, Casper Sorensen, the vice president for customer experience for cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, said the company was grappling with a “24/7 crypto economy, which, combined with a substantial increase in demand, has created a unique set of customer experience challenges.2” 

The cryptocurrency market value topped $2 trillion, a 180% increase year-to-date, for the first time in April 20213. However, with mass adoption, rapid growth and heightened customer interest, it’s been a challenge for most crypto companies to provide the customer support that users expect. An influx of tickets from both new and existing customers, spikes in demand that can happen in mere minutes, and the fact that there’s a global user base that has questions 24/7 are just the tip of the iceberg.  

In one example of the challenging environment, Coinbase saw a 295% jump in transaction volumes in a single month in late 20174. The company had already grown its support team by more than 60% that year, but the company still wasn’t prepared to manage the rapid growth and subsequent customer support issues. Angry customers fled to online forums and social media to publicly shame and complain about unresolved questions and long wait times. “The [customer support] team was left feeling like we were bailing out a sinking ship with pots and pans,” Coinbase’s general manager, Dan Romero, said at the time5 

To build and maintain user trust, cryptocurrency companies and exchanges must have solid customer service intact which prioritizes responsiveness across channels and getting back to customers quickly. In Coinbase’s case, the company didn’t offer live support, and phone support was only available to those with frozen accounts6.  It got so bad that one customer pleaded: Please hire me for FREE so i can help some people here with their #cases can’t see this **** anymore some dude was on brink of suicide due to his account being locked7.

The anxiety people feel when something could affect their finances is significant and providing fast answers is essential. This creates the perfect situation to use an AI chatbot platform to offer immediate support in some cases or at least acknowledge that a person has reached out and their issue will soon be addressed. 

What are the pillars for a successful crypto CX automation strategy?

AI-powered chatbots can help relieve stress from overloaded support teams by automatically resolving many everyday customer issues and triaging more complex issues before passing them to a human agent. This frees up human agents to focus on more complex cases and helps to reduce resolution time across the board. AI chatbots can also help reduce “ghost contacts”, which is when the same person reaches out on multiple channels with the same issue. 

When introducing customer service automation, there are a few key things that every cryptocurrency company needs to deploy:

  • 24/7 resolutions: Global trading happens 24/7. Crypto companies need to combine human and AI teams to answer questions as soon as they arise, especially on time-sensitive issues related to accounts being locked or potentially hacked.
  • Omni-channel support: Customers also have different preferences on where they’d like to receive support. So deploying a SMS chatbot or email chatbot across messaging and social platforms can help to increase customer satisfaction while removing friction. 
  • Natural language understanding: At the very minimum, AI chatbots need to be able to understand customers regardless if they talk in natural or unnatural language, use emojis, or slang. Chatbots that are unable to process a customer’s question can do more harm than good and lead to even more frustration. Modern NLU technology can accurately decipher a person’s intent – even if it’s in long-form text – as opposed to simply matching keywords. 
  • Sentiment analysis: AI chatbots should be able to recognize when a person is angry, upset or distraught so they can immediately be routed to a human agent – regardless of their issue.  
  • Intelligent routing: When a person is routed to a human, crypto companies should route to specific agents based on areas of expertise as well as whether or not they’ve dealt with more challenging cases that day. This type of routing can help to improve agent happiness and reduce turnover in the customer service team. 
  • Multilingual capabilities: Crypto has customers around the world who want to get support in their native language. Studies have shown that 42% of customers never buy products and services in other languages8. Therefore, enabling someone to get answers to questions in their preferred language is key to building trust and confidence, while also paving the way for new customers. 
  • The strictest security standards: Crypto AI chatbots need to meet all regulatory requirements and abide by the strictest security standards to protect customer data and build trust. 

What are the top use cases for crypto chatbots? 

Not every issue is right for automation. Theft, cyber attacks, “account takeovers”, and withdrawal requests, for example, should always be managed by human agents. However, chatbots can automatically resolve many everyday tickets. Here are the best use cases for crypto chatbots: 

  • Trade confirmations: Letting a person know if a trade has gone through or some error occurred. 
  • Education: Answering questions related to the crypto market, evolving laws and regulations, policies and comparisons between digital currencies
  • Account creation and guidance: Helping users create and verify accounts, and add payment methods. Chatbots can also guide people through the process of learning how to use a platform. 
  • Locked accounts: Automate the first level of support when a person is barred from their account by troubleshooting common issues. 
  • Managing accounts: Common questions related to updating payment methods, transferring funds, verifying identities and more.
  • Taxes and other forms: Helping people navigate to where they can access key documentation on their account. 

When it comes to people’s finances, unresponsiveness can breed mistrust. With a growing array of competitors in the space, poor reviews about the inability to get answers when needed or the overall experience can directly impact the value of a cryptocurrency.  In an environment defined by heavy market movement, huge rallies and dramatic sell-offs, cryptocurrencies need to have automation in place to provide the best customer experience and keep resolution times low even when there are unexpected spikes in ticket volume.

Click any of the links below to get more of our insights on FinTech customer service solutions.

References

  1. https://blog.coinbase.com/committing-to-better-customer-service-during-this-time-of-heightened-interest-in-the-cryptoeconomy-5dc2637c4fa7 
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/technology/coinbase-bitcoin-complaints.html 
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/cryptocurrency-market-cap-tops-2-trillion-for-the-first-time.html 
  4. https://www.telusinternational.com/articles/cryptocurrency-customer-service-partner 
  5. https://blog.coinbase.com/customer-support-failure-is-not-an-option-da06fbe3edda 
  6. https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/15/coinbase-commits-to-a-better-customer-experience-following-complaints/ 
  7. https://www.reddit.com/r/CoinBase/comments/o42h9s/coinbase_please_hire_me_for_free_so_i_can_help/
  8. https://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/flash/fl_313_en.pdf 

The 5 Best Salesforce Apps and Integrations For Improving The Customer Experience

Written by Dylan Max  on   Jun 7, 2021

Salesforce is the leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by businesses to manage customer data, connect across a variety of channels, streamline customer support, and provide a better, more personalized customer service and experience. In addition to being a leading platform itself, there are thousands of Salesforce apps and integrations in its AppExchange that extend Salesforce’s benefits to meet the expectations of today’s modern customer for effortless, personal and quick support.

Why is Salesforce so popular?


Over 150,000 companies use Salesforce today to manage their customer relationships – from small businesses to the largest enterprises in the world like NBCUniversal, Siemens and Bentley. One of the reasons why Salesforce is so popular is because they make it easy for other companies to build integrations that further enhance Salesforce’s capabilities. Companies that have built sophisticated CX, engagement, support, analytics and other tools have apps in the Salesforce AppExchange, a marketplace with ready-to-install free and paid apps.

What are the top benefits of using Salesforce?


For customer service teams, the Salesforce Service Cloud gives agents a holistic view of the customer and enables companies to offer support across many channels, creating an omnichannel experience. The agent console is an intuitive workspace where agents can manage and close tickets from a single screen. Other productivity tools include automation, knowledge base suggestions to agents, omnichannel routing so a case is managed by the agent who has the most relevant skills, and real-time analytics on key customer service KPIs.

What apps does Salesforce integrate with?


Salesforce integrates with other business software to extend the power of the platform. All in all, Salesforce now has over 3,400 apps since the Salesforce AppExchange launched back in 2006. These apps help sales, marketing, and customer support leaders manage customer relationships, drive loyalty and unlock new revenue.

With thousands of apps to choose from, we wanted to gather up our picks for the most powerful tools to help customer experience and support leaders scale customer happiness and effectively compete on CX.

Here are the 5 best apps in the Salesforce AppExchange:

1. Ortoo Q- Assign


This 100% native Salesforce app gets your customer service tickets into the right agent’s hand. It’s an advanced routing and assignment system that allows you to match tickets to the best or first available agent across multiple channels, not simply round-robin assigning. You can also update agent skills and attributes, and schedule work shifts and office hours. Beyond ticket handling, Ortoo also has a powerful function used for sales teams. From a sales scope, Ortoo can route leads and opportunities to the right sales rep.

Featured Highlights

  1. Lead Assignment: Companies can end cherry-picking and enjoy load-balanced lead routing. 
  2. Case Routing: Assign cases to the first available or best agent.
  3. Task Assignments: Assign tasks or any work item to agents and create customer case management.

Customer Reviews

Nearly every reviewer has given it five stars. One reviewer writes: “The solution has met all of our needs and has exceeded some too. We are able to use the round-robin beyond our expectations; the system has allowed us to implement a loaded balance that means our Agents do not unfairly have cases distributed.”

2. Survey Vista


Hearing how your company is delivering against your customers expectations is a key way to identify areas for improvement. With the Survey Vista for Salesforce App, you can
build branded, mobile-friendly, dynamic surveys and forms for email, websites, communities and SMS to send at key customer touchpoints to gather feedback like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Performer Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES). Other key features include multilingual support so you can serve surveys in your customers’ native languages, the ability to set conditions to show or hide certain questions dynamically, and ability to map your survey responses to create & update Salesforce records.

Featured Highlights

  1. Native Salesforce Surveys & Forms
  2. Unlimited Paid Starting at US $999 per year
  3. Agile startup and new features quickly added to make your life easier achieving business goals

Customer Reviews

***** Rating by most of the customers on Salesforce AppExchange. According to one reviewer: “This product is a great solution, super easy and fast to set up, and their customer support is fantastic and very responsive.”

3. Qualtrics


The Qualtrics app for Salesforce allows you to combine customer experience data with operational data to better understand customer behavior and build strong relationships. It allows you to set up feedback requests using SMS customer service, easily export customer profiles, and create / update tickets based on customer feedback.

Featured Highlights

  1. Embed Qualtrics’ advanced customer feedback analytics in Salesforce to surface customer insights and take action.
  2. Automate feedback requests in Salesforce based on account milestones to understand customer behavior.
  3. Show customers you’re listening by taking personalized actions to address experience gaps and delight each customer contact in your database.

Customer Reviews

One customer sums up their experience nicely: The integration is simple, especially taking advantage of a walkthrough with their helpful Salesforce integration experts. The UI is neat and elegant and simple to find what you need to get a complex integration setup in no time. Support page is also a huge help, very intuitive… and did I mention that the Support people are great as well :).”

4. Netomi Virtual Agent


The companies that use Salesforce Service Cloud to manage customer support need to leverage the Netomi Virtual Agent app. This app enables companies to use a
Salesforce chatbot to automatically resolve customer service tickets in seconds across a variety of channels including email, Web chat and social. The Netomi Virtual Agent can interact directly with customers to fully resolve tickets without human intervention or work behind the scenes recommending responses to human agents. You can also integrate with your other back-end systems to provide fully personalized resolutions. By using the Netomi Virtual Agent app for Salesforce, resolution time for customer service tickets will decrease significantly which results in higher customer satisfaction.

Featured Highlights

  1. Significantly reduce response and resolution times.
  2. Leverage AI-powered recommended replies to help your agents work faster. Boost agent productivity and give them time back to focus on more complex cases.
  3. Train from historic case data or select from our pre-trained AI conversational and industry-specific skills. Launch quickly and see value sooner.

Customer Reviews

Netomi has a five-star rating on G2 Crowd. One happy customer says: “The team is awesome – very knowledgeable and quick to respond and help, they also try to think outside of the box and suggest a solution that might not be immediately available.”

Learn more about the Netomi Salesforce App and the benefits of integrating a powerful AI solution natively into Salesforce.

5. Natterbox CTI


The Natterbox CTI app, dubbed the Salesforce voice solution, allows you to bring the power of telephony into Salesforce. The
computer telephony integration (CTI) automatically captures activity, sets dynamic call queues, routes calls based on skills and can integrate call data in Salesforce reports. What’s more, the company uses AI to analyze phone conversations including sentiment and intent analysis.

Featured Highlights

  1. Fully integrated and managed in Salesforce, Natterbox delivers key CTI and contact center features directly in Salesforce.
  2. Experience smoother, more personalized inbound caller journeys, higher customer satisfaction, improved user productivity, and greater operational flexibility — all of which contribute to a stronger bottom line for your organization.
  3. Capture all your telephony data in Salesforce with 60+ out-of-the-box Salesforce reports included. Use Salesforce dashboards and other reporting objects to make strategic decisions, whilst never leaving the platform.

Customer Reviews

One happy customer says: “I’ve worked in contact centers for over 5 years now, and this is by far the best phone system I have ever used. The integration with Service Cloud is seamless, making reporting a breeze! I’ll never willingly use anything else!”.

What are the biggest Salesforce Service Cloud competitors?


While Salesforce might be one of the most well-known customer relationship management platforms, it faces stiff competition from other established and emerging brands. Here’s a roundup of the top five biggest competitors to Salesforce Service Cloud: 

  • Zendesk: The Zendesk platform is easily the biggest competitor to Salesforce. It enables teams to provide support across email, social media, voice, and mobile and has robust analytics. It’s flexible and customizable and has more than 800 apps and integrations available.
  • Gladly: As one of the newer platforms, Gladly has quickly gained a reputation for empowering companies to deliver incredibly personal customer service. The people-centered platform has scored 4.5 stars on G2 as it enables companies to create a single conversation timeline with all customer communications, across all channels, which in turn decreases duplicate tickets and agent workload.
  • Freshdesk: Over 40,000 companies like American Express and Panasonic use Freshdesk to seamlessly manage omnichannel customer support. In Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant, Freshworks is the only “visionary” for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.
  • Zoho Desk: Zoho chatbot enables teams to use the power of customer context to improve agent productivity, promote self-service and increase customer happiness. Reviewers mention it’s easier to set up and manage as compared to Salesforce. Clients include RentersWarehouse, LycaMobile, Daimler and Cummins.
  • LiveAgent: Used by over 30,000 companies worldwide including BMW, Yamaha and Nascar, LigeAgent is used to manage customer support across email, phone and chat in a single inbox. The platform is rated at 99% in user satisfaction, perhaps due to its commitment to simplicity.

Conclusion


In summary, Salesforce is a trusted partner to help companies deliver exceptional customer support. As consumers demand faster, more convenient and cross-channel support, it’s important for companies of all sizes to use a CRM platform like Salesforce and powerful integrations and apps to provide the support that customers expect.

Can we tell you more about how to amplify the power of Salesforce Service Cloud with customer support AI and automation? Let’s chat.

To learn more about improving the customer experience, visit:

The 7 Best Ecommerce Chatbot Solutions and What Makes Ecommerce Bots Succeed

Written by Dylan Max  on   May 28, 2021

From product recommendations to one-on-one personal shopping and customer support to order management, the use cases for ecommerce chatbot solutions are endless. This is why the eCommerce industry was one of the first industries to embrace chatbots and conversational AI virtual assistants. 

And the need for eCommerce chatbots has never been higher than it is today. Online shopping is one of the most popular activities in the world, and the industry is more competitive than ever. There’s a healthy new pipeline of digital-first retailers built on the idea of customer-obsession and seamless end-to-end experiences. At the same time, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have accelerated digital innovation in the wake of COVID-19 looking to remove friction while also replicating highly-personalized, one-on-one interactions with customers at scale. In fact, McKinsey reported that in just eight weeks, five years of consumer and business digital adoption occurred during COVID-19. 

All of this comes at a time when people are less loyal. Shockingly only 9% of consumers are brand loyal today. eCommerce companies are competing as much on customer experience as price: 61% have switched brands due to poor customer service and more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service.  Prioritizing customer service, though, can pay off: 78% of customers say the quality of service is fundamental to earning their repeat business and US consumers say they’re willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service. 

In this post, we’re diving into the best use cases for an eCommerce chatbot, our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time and strategies for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy. 

What are the top use cases for eCommerce chatbots? 

eCommerce companies using chatbots for customer service can streamline the entire customer journey. Here are our favorite use cases: 

1. Immediate responses to common customer service FAQs

Customer service chatbots are one of the most common use cases for AI across industries, but they are especially prevalent in the eCommerce space:  From product care and return policies to warranty information and troubleshooting, eCommerce chatbots can provide immediate answers to common questions. This can save a person from scrolling through pages of an online knowledge base or reaching out on a channel that requires more heavy lifting. 

2. Personal shopping and product discovery

AI-powered chatbots can understand shopper preferences to curate highly personal product recommendations. Chatbots are also used frequently during the holiday shopping season, helping shoppers find the perfect gift for everyone on their list based on price range, interests and other attributes. 

3. Conversational commerce

eCommerce chatbots can provide a seamless add to cart and checkout experience, all within a natural conversational interface across live chat, Facebook and social media pages, messaging apps and SMS. 

4. Return prevention

It’s estimated that over 30% of all online purchases are returned. If a shopper is conducting behavior that indicates a return is likely, eCommerce chatbots can preemptively intervene to prevent a return from ever happening. For example, if a person has checked the size guide and added two of the same item in the cart in different sizes, a chatbot can intervene to help the person find the right size. This not only eliminates a customer from having to go through the hassle of returning an item, but also saves the retailer significant costs related to returns. 

5. Order management

Making small changes to an order or tracking the status of a delivery are mundane tasks that should not require a human agent. Not only is it costly to have humans perform these simple tasks, but often results in wait times and longer resolution times, and increased customer frustration. 


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


The 7 Best eCommerce Chatbot Solutions of All Time 

From upstarts to some of the most established brands,eCommerce companies have launched chatbots to alleviate friction at various parts of the customer experience. Here are our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time. 

1. Hewlett-Packard

Why does Hewlett-Packard have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) leverages Netomi’s AI chatbots to eliminate a major pain point in the customer experience: running low on ink. Real-time signals from HP printers alert Netomi’s AI when a person is at risk of running dry and preemptively intervenes, sending a customer a personalized cart with compatible cartridges and providing a seamless reorder experience.  Previously, helping a customer find the right ink cartridge was one of the most costly and time consuming tickets for HP, taking on average, between 7-8 minutes. Leveraging chatbots, HP now does this proactively and instantly. 

2. Sephora

Why does Sephora have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Well regarded for its innovation, Sephora is often recognized for new and innovative CX programs and was one of the first retailers to adopt AI-powered ecommerce chatbot solutions. One of the beauty company’s chatbots enabled customers to book a makeover with a Sephora Beauty Specialist, which had an 11% bump in conversions compared to other channels.  Another conversational AI experience from Sephora was Color Match, which allowed customers to find the best makeup shade for their skin tone and even recommend shades based on other objects like flowers or clothes. One of Sephora’s bots on kik had incredible engagement: an average 10 messages per user per day.   

3. Tommy Hilfiger

Why does Tommy Hilfiger have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The TMY.GRL ecommerce chatbot, from the iconic Tommy Hilfger fashion house, was one of the first conversational AI experiences on Facebook Messenger. During New York Fashion Week, fans could instantly shop the same styles seen by models walking the runway, which used to not be available for weeks or months. The Messenger bot also provided a look at the behind the scenes at the fashion show getting shoppers up close and personal with models like Gigi Hadid. 

4. Harry Rosen

Why does Harry Rosen have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Meet Haily, the innovative chatbot from Harry Rosen, a Canadian retail chain of 17 luxury men’s clothing stores. Haily scales the same high-touch, in-store experience that its customers love online. Haily helps shoppers find the status of their order, request and track returns, and track and redeem loyalty points. Haily is also a personal shopper, offering personalized product advice and answering questions related to fit, style or suitability. 

5. Zinus

Why does Zinus have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Zinus, one of the fastest-growing mattress brands, introduced its chatbot Zuri to remove friction from the customer journey. Zuri provides instant support for the most common customer questions like: Where is my order? Can i modify my recent order? How do I apply for a warranty? Chats are seamlessly handed off to an agent within the same window if needed, providing an experience as satisfying as a Zinus mattress itself.  

6. ebay

Why does ebay have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

There are currently over 1.6 billion live listings on eBay, making it one of the biggest global marketplaces. You can literally find almost anything you’re searching for, but sometimes scrolling through pages of listings can seem daunting. That’s why eBay launched ShopBot. The virtual agent messenger bot helps shoppers find the best deals and products. Users text or snap pictures of items they are looking for (i.e. I want red Nike shoes) and the bot will ask questions to better understand what a person is looking for (sizing, budget, etc.)  in order to narrow down the options. 

7. Casper

Why does Casper have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

A few years ago, the mattress company launched a bot to engage with customers and keep them entertained when they couldn’t sleep. Named insomnobot3000, the bot is “extra chatty between 11 PM and 5 AM” and is a companion for night owls. According to Casper VP Lindsay Kaplan, “It’s kind of obsessed with pizza and is really on the fence about if it’s too late to eat or it should just wait to eat waffles in the morning.” While insomnobot3000 is not addressing a key part of the customer journey, it’s a creative example of an ecommerce chatbot. 

What are the pillars for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy?

While there have been many successful eCommerce chatbots, some have failed to deliver. In order to implement a successful AI chatbot, eCommerce companies need to follow a few key strategies: 

  • Leverage Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
    NLU is a key component of any conversational AI. In the eCommerce context, it is used to allow customers to engage in natural and unnatural language. Chatbots that rely simply on keyword matching lead to frustrating user experiences as the bot gets confused easily. 
  • Identify common pain point
    The customer journey is filled with pain points that can be fixed withinwith in the customer journey (i.e. a person running out of ink) and repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. Start with a few key use cases and expand over time. 
  • Deploy deep reinforcement learning
    The accuracy of your chatbot on day 1, 30 and 60 should not be the same. The smartest chatbots learn and improve over time with every interaction. You’ll tweak the algorithms to ensure the bot is classifying a person’s intent correctly and also uncover new use case opportunities to automate. 
  • Give the chatbot an on-brand personality
    Keep the experience fun and engaging, but don’t clutter the interaction with unnecessary back-and-forth chatter. Get to the point quickly. Ask the necessary questions only. And keep everything on-brand. [Learn more about conversational UX design]. 
  • Launch on the channels where your customers are
    Chatbots don’t just have to live on live chat widgets on a website. Interact with your customers at scale on social media pages, messaging apps, SMS, voice platforms and even email. 

Leveraging a live chat software on a website and on social media helps eCommerce companies scale 1:1 interactions with customers, 24/7. Customers today expect effortless, convenient and highly personal shopping experiences and when they reach out for customer support, they demand instant resolutions. As the competition within the eCommerce industry continues to heat up, the companies that prioritize the customer experience will be the ones that drive sales and capture long-term customer loyalty. 

Learn more about the opportunities for eCommerce and retail chatbots with netomi’s chatbot platform.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

eCommerce KPIs: A Quick Start Guide

Written by Dylan Max  on   Mar 5, 2021

What Are KPIs for eCommerce?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that can help you track and assess certain aspects of your business. KPIs are ideally highly specific, providing insights into the productivity of relevant business processes.

An eCommerce KPI can help you optimize the entire purchasing journey, and provide insights into aspects like customer engagement, shopping cart abandonment, order returns, bounce rates and more. Because all aspects of eCommerce are measurable, metrics and KPIs are critical to optimizing an eCommerce operation, overcoming competition and driving profitability.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Top eCommerce Metrics to Track Your Performance
    • Conversion Rate
    • Cart Abandonment Rate
    • Average Order Value
    • Cost per Acquisition
    • Site Speed
    • Customer Engagement
    • Return Rate
  • How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Business
    • Focus on a Few Key Metrics
    • Identify Both Lagging and Leading Performance Indicators

Top eCommerce Metrics to Track Your Performance

When setting up KPIs, it is important to create a system that makes sense to all collaborators. The metrics below serve as industry standards, used by the majority of leading eCommerce and marketing businesses.

Conversion Rate

In eCommerce, a conversion occurs when a user takes a desired action, like making a purchase. A conversion rate measures the percentage of users who completed these actions. To calculate this percentage, take the total number of “converted” users, divided by the total number of users, and turn the total number into a percentage.

Shopping cart abandonment measures how many users started a purchase, by adding products to their shopping cart, but eventually left the website and did not buy the items they selected. If the abandonment rate is high, there may be a problem with the check out or payment process. The process may be too complex, or there may be other concerns, such as users concerned about security or the trustworthiness of the brand or website.

Average Order Value

Average Order Value (AOV) is the average amount spent by users of an eCommerce site in one purchase. A related metric is Average Abandoned Order Value (AAOV), which is the average value of orders canceled at the checkout or shopping cart stage of a purchase.

To derive insights, track your AOV and break it down by dimensions like:

  • Device type and browser/operating system
  • Traffic source
  • Paid campaign source

Knowing the sources that drive customers with the highest AOV can help you focus your marketing efforts to bring in higher-value customers, and increase return on investment.

Cost per Acquisition

Acquisition cost is the amount of money your organization spends to get a new paying customer. This includes:

  • Paid advertising
  • Promotions or discounts on list price
  • Email nurture campaigns
  • Any other investment made to bring in new customers

Analyzing cost per acquisition shows how much effort and monetary investment is needed to acquire paying customers. This should be compared with AOV and long-term metrics like customer lifetime value (CLV), to understand return on investment.

Site Speed

Website speed is a significant factor impacting user experience. Websites and checkout carts that are slow to load are often abandoned. Customers do not want to wait long, and expect good performance and efficiency from eCommerce sites. To ensure a positive experience, you can monitor the speed of your website using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, optimize images on your website, and use a content delivery network (CDN).

Customer Engagement

Customer engagement KPIs measure the level of engagement between customers and eCommerce businesses. High engagement rates often indicate a deeper connection with brands, which often promote customer loyalty and retention. Typical indicators include social media shares and reactions, newsletter subscribers, and time spent viewing site pages.

Return Rate

E-commerce can only be successful if the customer is satisfied with the method of ordering, the goods and the speed of delivery, and has the right to cancel their purchase. At the same time, a high return rate carries a risk of loss, so online store managers need to pay special attention to  the percentage of returned orders.

However, in the online fashion industry and some other eCommerce segments, returns may actually be encouraged, in order to solve customer concerns about fit of clothing and other personal items. In these cases, the returns metric should be treated differently.

How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Business

Focus on a Few Key Metrics

There are many KPIs to choose from, and a lot of data to analyze. In theory, it is possible to keep track of many KPIs, but this might not be a good idea. Each KPI provides different insights, and not all might be relevant to your current situation and objectives. Instead, you can choose certain metrics that are currently relevant to your site and leverage the insights quickly.

Identify Both Lagging and Leading Performance Indicators

The majority of businesses focus mainly on identifying lagging performance indicators, which analyze events that happened in the past. Cart abandonment rate and website speed, both measure past performance.

Leading performance indicators, on the other hand, try to predict future events and provide insights into trends that have not happened yet. You can try, for example, to predict sales opportunities and then create marketing funnels accordingly, or predict future website traffic.

KPIs eCommerce with Netomi

Netomi works with eCommerce companies to improve critical KPIs related to eCommerce customer experience. The support a person receives is having impacts well beyond the customer service team. Consider these eCommerce stats:

  • 90% of Americans use customer service as a deciding factor when choosing to do business with a company
  • 78% of customers say the quality of service is fundamental to earning their loyalty and repeat business
  • Seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service
  • 61% have switched brands due to poor customer service with nearly half having done so in the past 12 months

Consumers expect immediate resolutions to their issues across an increasing number of channels. Our AI-powered chatbot tools automate resolutions to over 70% of everyday tickets including order status, refund requests and order cancellations. Key features of the Netomi AI chatbot platform for eCommerce companies include:

  • Natural Language Understanding (NLU): The Netomi AI can understand what your customers are saying no matter how they ask. So, whether they say “Where’s my order?” or “Is my sweater arriving today?” Netomi AI chatbots can provide the relevant response.
  • Integrations: Netomi can integrate with backend business systems to provide personalized resolutions, not generic information.
  • Deep Learning: Netomi’s platform leverages a combination of supervised and unsupervised learning to boost intent classification capabilities, increase confidence scores, and uncover new training opportunities.
  • Omnichannel: eCommerce companies can meet their customers where they are. Netomi’s AI chatbots scale across email, social, messaging, chat and voice.
  • Pre-trained AI with eCommerce skills: Netomi’s AI comes with pre-trained, thoroughly-tested eCommerce skills. Common eCommerce-specific topics like refunds, order modifications, order status and order cancellations have real-world experience making the bot able to understand a wider variety of ways a person might as a question from day one.

Would you like to learn about how Netomi helps improve eCommerce support KPIs? Check out the most powerful eCommerce chatbot on planet Earth.